As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 9 August 2019

Hornbill heroes: A conversation with a top Indonesian bird conservation NGO

by on 5 August 2019

With their ostentatious bills, often colorful plumage, raucous calls, and unusual behavioral traits, hornbills are arguably one of the most charismatic groups of birds in the tropics. While hornbills are found widely across tropical Africa and Asia-Pacific, no country is home to more species than Indonesia, which has 13. Within Indonesia, Sumatra leads the way with 9 species, followed by Kalimantan.

Hornbills in Indonesia are particularly under threat due to habitat destruction. Vast areas of rainforest have been cleared for plantations and agriculture, while many of the forests that remain have been impacted by logging, which often focuses on trees hornbills depend upon for food and shelter. Some species are also targeted by the wildlife trade, including most notably, the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil), whose dense casque (a showy protrusion atop the animal’s bill) is made up of “hornbill ivory” that’s highly sought in China.

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