The Javan green magpie is in trouble, critically endangered, with precious few of its kind remaining, and the U.K.'s Chester Zoo is making an effort to save it from extinction.
The zoo has taken receipt of six pairs of the stunning green birds from their native Indonesia and hopes to establish a breeding program and what it calls "safety-net" populations.
Pretty Plumage Sets These Shimmering Birds Apart: Photos
According to the zoo, there are only about 100 Javan green magpies left. Birds in Indonesia are often caged as status objects, causing millions of them to be removed from the wild over the last two decades or so. In such conditions birds like the green magpie don't survive very long, say zoo staff interviewed by the BBC.
Recent efforts by the zoo to work with conservationists in Indonesia to breed the birds have been hindered by break-ins by thieves targeting the rare creatures.
The break-ins prompted the zoo to have the six pairs of birds flown to the United Kingdom. The U.K. breeding program will be the first ever attempted outside of the magpie's native Indonesia.
VIDEO: hy Birds Are Always Flying Into Things
The Javan green magpie is a corvid, in the same family as crows and ravens. Its victimization by trappers, and its loss of native habitat in the forests of Indonesia give the bird its ominous Critically Endangered designation.
"Research and informed conservation actions are now urgently needed to increase the chances of this species's survival," the International Union for Conservation of Nature writes of the animal on its "red list" of threatened species.
Hat tip BBC