Survey to assess the status of hornbills in five north-eastern states
Has hornbill distribution declined in last twenty years?
What is the status of hornbills across select Protected Areas in north-east India?
To find answers to these questions, we traveled 25,000 km, sought information from hunters & elders for an area of more than 17,000 sq. km & trekked in 16 Protected Areas
Hornbills across the Northeast
We worked across five states in north-east India -Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya,
Mizoram and Tripura - to document the status of hornbills in
selected protected areas through intensive field surveys. Through structured interviews with hunters, knowledgeable elders and forest department staff we also aimed to detect change
in habitat use intensity by hornbills over 20 years through structured
The survey began in October 2013 and ended in May 2014 during which we
travelled more than 25,000 km. Four species of hornbills were detected, with
limited detections of Brown hornbill from a few sites in four states. Six
species of primates were also detected. Information on hunting and other
threats to these species was also collected during the interview surveys. The
survey has resulted in a quantitative understanding of hornbill presence/
occupancy over a large area in north-east India, with a considerable decline in
hornbill habitat-use intensity and detection probability of all hornbill
species in most states in north-east India, which has pointed to the need for
targeted conservation action for hornbills.