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02 July 2019


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Citizen science initiative helps save hornbills

By Aspire IAS

Citizen science initiative helps save hornbills

Theme: Initiative to Protect Hornbills

A recent citizen science initiative of documenting Indian hornbills is providing valuable inputs for the conservation of this unique bird.

What is this initiative?

  • The Hornbill Watch initiative is an interactive web interface that allows a person to report on hornbills anywhere in India. People can record the observation of a live hornbill, note its call or report a dead, hunted or captive bird.
  • The data on the presence of hornbills outside protected areas would be crucial in identifying and protecting their habitats from possible threats and development projects.

Species Distribution in India:

  • There are nine hornbill species in India.
  • States from where the most sightings were recorded are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • Hornbills were reported from across 70 protected areas in the country. While 41% of the observations were made within protected areas, 59% were made outside.

Important Hornbills:

  • The endangered Narcondam hornbill is restricted to an area of 6 sq.km. of the Narcondam Island in the Andamans.
  • The rufous-necked hornbill is a vulnerable or near threatened species.
  • Further, the Austen’s brown hornbill and the great hornbill were observed in several States in northeastern India.
  • Other important species of hornbill include the oriental pied hornbill and the Indian grey hornbill