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Distribution and Threats of Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis) in Bhutan

Authors:
  • Nālandā University

Abstract

Hornbills (Bucerolidae) have a huge bill with a casque on upper mandible in some species. The casque is smaller in female in some species. Rufous-necked Hornbill (Acerosnipalensis), which belongs to Bucerolidae family, is a big bird measuring 90-100 cm long, with around 150 cm wingspan and weighing somewhat between 2 and 4 kg (4.4 to 8.8 lb). They are found in the Indian Subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable in IUCN Red List, Appendix II of CITES and Schedule I (totally protected wild animals) species in Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995. It has high forest dependency and is mostly found between the altitude of 150 and 2,200 meters. Rufous-necked Hornbill mostly feeds on berries, drupes, fruits of Lauraceae spp., Moraceae spp., Annonaceae spp. and Meliaceae spp. In Bhutan, Rufous-necked Hornbill is reported from Samtse, Chhukha, Trashigang, Zhemgang, Monggar, SamdrupJongkhar, Sarpang Districts, along PunatshangChhu, and mostly from Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks. Though being vulnerable in nature and ecologically important species, it is poorly studied and documented in Bhutan. Therefore, this paper aimed to review published secondary sources related to Rufous-necked Hornbill in Bhutan. The result showed that there were no illegal killings of species in Bhutan. Habitats are threatened because of timber extraction, road construction, clearing of forest for power transmission lines and dying of nest trees.
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
ISSN: 2319-7064
SJIF (2019): 7.583
Volume 9 Issue 11, November 2020
www.ijsr.net
Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY
Distribution and Threats of Rufous-Necked Hornbill
(Acerosnipalensis) in Bhutan
Tej Kumar Nepal
Student, Master of Ecology and Environment Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies, Nalanda University, Rajgir, Bihar, India
Email: tejkumarnepal97[at]gmail.com
Abstract: Hornbills (Bucerolidae) have a huge bill with a casque on upper mandible in some species. The casque is smaller in female
in some species. Rufous-necked Hornbill (Acerosnipalensis), which belongs to Bucerolidae family, is a big bird measuring 90-100 cm
long, with around 150 cm wingspan and weighing somewhat between 2 and 4 kg (4.4 to 8.8 lb). They are found in the Indian
Subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable in IUCN Red List, Appendix II of CITES and Schedule I (totally
protected wild animals) species in Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995. It has high forest dependency and is mostly
found between the altitude of 150 and 2,200 meters. Rufous-necked Hornbill mostly feeds on berries, drupes, fruits of Lauraceae spp.,
Moraceae spp., Annonaceae spp. and Meliaceae spp. In Bhutan, Rufous-necked Hornbill is reported from Samtse, Chhukha,
Trashigang, Zhemgang, Monggar, SamdrupJongkhar, Sarpang Districts, along PunatshangChhu, and mostly from Wildlife
Sanctuaries and National Parks. Though being vulnerable in nature and ecologically important species, it is poorly studied and
documented in Bhutan. Therefore, this paper aimed to review published secondary sources related to Rufous-necked Hornbill in
Bhutan. The result showed that there were no illegal killings of species in Bhutan. Habitats are threatened because of timber extraction,
road construction, clearing of forest for power transmission lines and dying of nest trees.
Keywords: Bucerotidae; Habitat loss; Vulnerable; Hotspot, Hornbill, fragmentation, fruits
1. Introduction
Bhutan, with an area of 38,394 km2 (DoFPS, 2018), a
country rich in biological diversity is sandwiched between
two super powers, China in North and India in South, East
and West(NBSAP, 2014). Bhutan lies to the East of
Himalaya with a total of 11,248 species within all
biodiversity taxa (NBC, 2019).Bhutan is a part of 8
ecoregions, 23 important bird areas, important plant areas
and wetlands with 3 Ramsar sites (Banerjee &
Bandopadhyay, 2016). Bird diversity of Bhutan is the
reflection of country’s unique geographical position,
altitudinal variation and climatic differences. Till date, 752
species (26 globally threatened) of birds have been recorded
for Bhutan (NBC, 2019), of which southern and central part
of the country embodies the highest avian diversity. Of the
54 species of Hornbills (Jinamoy 2013; Sadadev, Dhami,
Thapa, Bista, Rawat, Neupane and Gautam 2020),Asia
harbors 33 species of hornbill (Poonswad, Kemp, & Strange,
2013).Oriental Pied hornbill (Anthracocerosalbirostris),
Rufous-necked Hornbill (Acerosnipalensis), Wreathed
Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulates) and Great Hornbill
(Bucerosbicornis) are the 4 species of Asian hornbills found
in Bhutan (Grimmett, Inskipp, Inskipp, & Sherub, 2019).
Oriental Pied Hornbill is listed as Least Concern globally,
while the other three are Vulnerable (Sherub & Singh,
2020). Globally, Rufous-necked Hornbill (Acerosnipalensis)
is listed as Vulnerable by International Union for
Conservation of Nature (Shukla, Naniwadekar, & Datta,
2016), listed as protected species under Schedule I of the
Forest and Nature Conservation Act 1995 of Bhutan (RGoB,
1995) and listed in Appendix II by Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITIES)(Sadadev, et al., 2020). Similarly, Forest
and Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations, 2017 kept
them under Schedule-I (protected) species with heavy fines
and penalties for defaulters (UWICER, 2017). Its population
is declining across much of its global range(Shukla et al,
2016). Rufous-necked Hornbill is reported from evergreen
forest in Bhutan, Northern Myanmar, Western and Northern
Thailand, part of North Eastern India, Southern China,
Northern Laos and North-western Vietnam(Sherub & Singh,
2020). It is close to extinction in Vietnam and reportedly
extinct from Nepal (Poonswad et al, 2013). Globally, its
population is estimated to be around more than 2,500 but
less than 10,000 birds(Poonswad et al, 2013).
Rufous-necked Hornbill feed on the fruits of 33 plants
(Appendix 1), invertebrate species including bee larvae,
freshwater crabs, young of birds, caterpillars, and beetles
(Appendix 2) (Sherub & Singh, 2020). Breeding season
begins from the last week of April and last till August,
approximatelyabout 4 months (Shukla, Naniwadekar, &
Datta, 2016). Rufous-necked Hornbills are recognized to
range over large space (Datta & Rawat, 2003). Their
presence indicates the good health of the forest as they
require large tracts of primary forest with large trees for
nesting (Poonswad & Kemp, 1993) and plays an important
functional role as seed dispensers (Kannan & James,
1999).Despite having significant role in the ecosystem, this
species is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation,
grazing, extraction of timber, and cutting of fruiting trees
(Mudappa & Raman, 2009). Though they are not at risk of
extinction in Bhutan, but they are facing the impact of
economic development and globalization (Sherub &
Tshering, 2019).
The study aimed to study the distribution evidences and
threats of Rufous-necked Hornbill from the published papers
in and out of Bhutan. There were not many published paper
of Rufous-necked Hornbill based on Bhutan, but some paper
published by non-Bhutanese had mentioned about the threats
and distribution of Rufous-necked Hornbill in Bhutan.
Paper ID: SR201111231036
DOI: 10.21275/SR201111231036
797
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
ISSN: 2319-7064
SJIF (2019): 7.583
Volume 9 Issue 11, November 2020
www.ijsr.net
Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY
2. Methods and Materials
This paper was set up by checking the relevant published
papers globally and nationally on Rufous-necked Hornbill
(Acerosnipalensis) from late 1990s till 2020. The
distribution of the species was also extracted from eBird
(www.ebird.org), iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org) and
Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (www.biodiversity.bt), an online
citizen science project. The literature mostly focused on
ecology, status and threats of Rufous-necked Hornbill.There
was more study conducted on this species from 2010. I
found only few papers with threat assessment and population
density estimates. Therefore, numerous papers published
were used to extract information and mold the information
into consumable one. Gathered information was utilized well
and the authors are cited accordingly.
3. Results and Discussions
3.1 Status and Distribution
In Bhutan, Rufous-necked Hornbill is distributed at the
altitude of 150-2,200 m in mature broadleaf forests (Inskipp,
Inskipp, & Grimmett, 1999).The Rufous-necked Hornbill is
sighted at SamdrupJongkhar, Trashigang, Monggar,
PemaGatshel, Zhemgang, Gelephu, Trongsa,
WangduePhodrang, Punakha, Samtse and Chhukha(eBird,
2020; BBP, 2020; iNaturalist, 2020).JigmeDorji National
Park, Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, JigmeSingyeWangchuck
National Park, Royal Manas National Park and
Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary reported the sightings of
the Rufous-necked Hornbill (BBP, 2020; eBird, 2020;
iNaturalist, 2020). Rufous-necked Hornbill is occasionally
sighted from other places as well but they are not
documented well (UWICER, 2017).
Major Threats
The anthropogenic activities pose threats to the habitat and
survival to the world’s most distinct bird species(Pandit &
Grumbine, 2012). The Rufous-necked Hornbill is mainly
threatened by deforestation, mortality due to natural
calamities and food resource competition.
Deforestation
Hornbills are greatly affected when the fruiting trees are
felled down for extension of roads, power transmission
towers, construction of farm roads and illegal logging
(Thongsikem, Poonswad, & Kemp, 2014). Moreover, the
collection of non-wood forest product (NWFP), fodder for
cattle and handicrafts development poses greater threats to
Hornbills in Bhutan (UWICER, 2017). The subsidized
timber resources provided by the National Policy encourage
people to use more trees for firewood and construction
proposes (Datta, 2009).
Mortality due to natural calamities
There are many other factors threatening the habitat and
survival of Rufous-necked Hornbill, apart from
anthropogenic pressure (Datta, 1998). Landslides during the
summer, disease out breaks, accidental forest fires, famines
and conditions of the nesting trees are some of the evident
catastrophes threatening the life of Hornbills in Bhutan
(Dorji, 2013).
Food resource competition
Though their role as seed dispersers are ecologically
important, all the seeds dispersedwill not generate 100
percent as it depends on various factors such as seed
viability, ground substrata, and climatic elements
(UWICER, 2017). The age old practice of cattle herding by
communities poses threats to Hornbills and reduces food
sources as they collect cattle fodder, wild foods for home
consumption and commercial purposes, trees felled for
handicraft making, NWFP as traditional medicines is
considered as better than scientific medicine in
Bhutan(Pandit, Manish, & Koh, 2014).
Bhutan has not documented or reported poaching and
hunting against Rufous-necked Hornbill although their beaks
kept as trophies are found in rural households (UWICER,
2017).Creating employment opportunities from ecotourism
through Hornbill conservation, sustainable forest
management, alleviation of poverty(Banerjee & Duflo,
2011), and conservation for education and recreational
purposes are some of the benefits of presence of Hornbill in
residential community(Poonswad P. , 1998).
Conservation Measures
The Constitution of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan mandates
to keep 60 percent forest cover for all times to
come(Tobgay, 2015). The national developmental
philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) places
Conservation of Environment as one of the four pillars(Tella
& MacCulloch, 2008).The National Assembly of Bhutan
passed the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan
1995, where Rufous-necked Hornbill was classified as
Schedule I species (totally protected), along with other
critically important species(RGoB, 1995). The Forest and
Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations, 2017 further
made their conservation strong by introducingheavy fines
and penalties for defaulters(UWICER, 2017). The forest
cover of 71 percent (DoFPS, 2018) is great home for
Rufous-necked Hornbill, but will their conservation be as
strong as now in near future.
4. Conclusion
While collecting and the reviewing the scholarly works on
Rufous-necked Hornbill thoroughly, I found out that there
was not a single paper writing about the poaching and
hunting of the species in context of Bhutan. Human-induced
interventions such as deforestation, habitat loss and
fragmentation, and developmental activities are effecting the
population and habitat of Rufous-necked Hornbill. Forest
and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan 1995 and Forest and
Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations 2017 kept them
under Schedule-I (totally protected) species, but detailed
research on its documentation of status, distribution, threats
and behavioral ecology of this species is needed. Insufficient
data poses major drawback to the management and
conservation efforts. Hence, detailed ground level collective
evidences on population density, breeding biology, threats,
distribution, behavioral ecology and diet composition should
be studied to aid in the conserving and maintaining the
viable population of Rufous-necked Hornbill.
Paper ID: SR201111231036
DOI: 10.21275/SR201111231036
798
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
ISSN: 2319-7064
SJIF (2019): 7.583
Volume 9 Issue 11, November 2020
www.ijsr.net
Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY
Way Forward
Separate Hornbill Protection and Management Plan must be
incorporated for specificaction to conserve and manage the
population of Rufous-necked Hornbill and its habitat.
Detailed ground level collective evidences on population
density, breeding biology, threats, distribution, behavioral
ecology and diet composition should be studied to aid in the
conserving and maintaining the healthy population of
Rufous-necked Hornbill. Conservation awareness programs
for the public and inclusion of importance of Hornbills (and
other birds) in syllabus in schools’ and colleges’ education
are vital in making people aware about its vulnerable state.
People should also be made aware of the law protecting the
ecologically important species and to keep people away
from practicing illegal killing. The effect of climate change
on Hornbill’s habitat and food habit should be studied to aid
in conservation of the species. Carrying timely research on
Hornbill population is important to determine the impact of
economic development and to check their resilient capacity
to adapt to the changing climate.
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Paper ID: SR201111231036
DOI: 10.21275/SR201111231036
799
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
ISSN: 2319-7064
SJIF (2019): 7.583
Volume 9 Issue 11, November 2020
www.ijsr.net
Licensed Under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY
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Appendix 1: List of species of fruitson the diet of Rufous-necked Hornbill in Bhutan (all the common languages are from
Bhutan)
S.No. Family Species Common Name Habit Fruit
Type IUCN
Status
1 Alangiaceae Alangiumalpinum Domseng (Kheng), Galasune (Nepali) Small tree Drupe LC
2
Anacardiaceae
Spondiaspinnata Amaroo (Nepali), Amber shing (Sha) Deciduous tree Drupe LC
3 Drimycarpusracemosus Kadarmey (Kheng), KhakBalaiyo (Nepali) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
4 Mangiferasylvatica ChucheAnp (Nepali), Shutale (Kheng) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
5 Choerospondiasaxillaris Thrungchungshing (Sha), Lapsi (Nepali), Klunmachi
(Kheng) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
6 Boraginaceae Ehretia sp. Jagpaseng (Kheng) Tree Berry LC
7 Burseraceae Canariumstrictum Poikar (Dzongkha), Poikarshing (Sha), Gokuldhup
(Nepali) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
8 Elaeocarpaceae Elaeocarpuslanceifolius Khashakokpa (Kheng/ Kurtoed), Khashatarka(Tsamang),
GashaThungshing (Sha), Bhadrasey (Nepali) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
9
Lauraceae
Perseaodoratissima Shjaguli (Kurtoed) Small tree Drupe LC
10 Alseodaphne sp. Bragshing (Saling) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
11 Persea sp. Serkala (Kheng), Guliser (Saling) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
12 Phoebe sp. Chogsengma (Kheng) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
13 Parasassafrasconfertiflora Shingmar/ Singsii (Sha), Kalobori (Nepali) Small tree Drupe LC
14 Cinnamomumbejolghota Throkthrrokla/ Zapale (Kheng) Evergreen tree Drupe LC
15 Cinnamomumglaucescens Kipchushing (Dzongkha), Kawla/Malagiri (Nepali),
Wamchagpa (Kheng) Shrub Drupe DD
16 Beilschmiediavillosa Krupti (KhengBroksar) Tree Drupe DD
17 Beilschmiediaroxburghiana ThruloTarsing (Nepali), Praguli/ Brangkhala (Kheng) Evergreen Drupe DD
18 Beilscmediaclarkei SanuTarsing (Nepali) Brangkhala (Kheng) Evergreen tree Drupe DD
19 Flacourtiaceae Caseariaglomerata Phanglaseng (kheng), Barkaunle (Nepali) Shrub Capsule LC
20 Meliaceae Aglaiaedulis Yamphaisey (Sha) Deciduous tree Capsule LC
21 Aglaiacucullata Khwelaiseng (Kheng) Evergreen tree capsule LC
22 Moraceae Macluracochinchinensis MaidalKanra (Nepali) Climbing
Shrub Berry NE
23 Ficusauriculata Chongma (Sha), Nebaro (Nepali), Khomdhang (Kheng) Tree Syconia NE
24 Proteaceae Helicianilgirica Potorshing (Sha), Bandre (Nepali) Small tree Drupe LC
25 Santalaceae Pyrulariaedulis Amphi (Nepali), Tan li (Chinese) Small tree Drupe LC
26 Vitaceae Cyphostemmaauriculatum Zezeymairuu (Kheng) Climbing
shrub Berry -
27 Tetrastigmaleucostaphylum Crenpashui (Kheng), Bherseri (Nepali) Large climbing
shrub Berry LC
28 Solanaceae Cyphomandrabetacea ShingLambendha (Kurtoed/ Kheng) Small tree Berry NE
29 Rosaceae Docyniaindica Tong (Dzongkha), Thungkakpa (Sha), Mel (Nepali) Deciduous tree Pome LC
30 Fragarianubicola Strawberry, Marib (Kheng) Stoloni-ferous
herb Berry LC
31 Phyllanthaceae Emblicaofficinalis Churu (Dzongkha) Kudth (Kheng), Amala (Nepali) Deciduous
shrub Capsule LC
32 Fagaceae Castanopsis or Lithocarpus Shakhoi (Kheng) - Acorn -
33 Magnoliaceae Michelia sp. Kharshing (Kheng) Evergreen tree - LC
34 Unknown
species Unknown sp. Nyeclodth (Kheng) Tree Drupe -
Appendix 2: List of species of animals on the diet of Rufous-necked Hornbill in Bhutan (all the common languages are from
Bhutan)
Vertebrate Invertebrate
Animal Animal
Lizards Caterpillar
Rats Crab
Squirrels Snails
Frog Bettles
Snake Cikada
Bird Chick Wild bees
Chirpine Caterpillar
Paper ID: SR201111231036
DOI: 10.21275/SR201111231036
800
... The Eastern Himalayan area is additionally the gathering point of three biogeographical realms, to be specific, the Indo-Malayan, Sino-Japanese, and the Palaearctic realm [1]. The highlands have vibrant biodiversity, high endemism, and 163 globally threatened species, including the densest populace of Bengal tigers and the herbivores on the mainland: Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), and more prominent One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) [38]. The EH region is at the center of attention as part of an emergency ecoregion, biodiversity hotspot, endemic bird region, ecologically diverse countries, and Global 200 Ecoregions. ...
... Bhutan is a land-locked country with a total area of 38,394 km2. The country is home to around 11,248 species [38]. Bhutan's rich and green forest covers 71% of the land, under the five National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries, one Strict Nature Reserve, Community Forests, and biological corridors linking different protected areas (figure 5). ...
... The new species record for Bhutan has happened at a pace of 62 species each year (62.88%). A considerable lot of the species are not yet found and reported in Bhutan, and there is a requirement for much exploration to record the unseen species (to science and Bhutan) and to comprehend species number and variety [38]. ...
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Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. The Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot (EH) is part of 36 biodiversity hotspots of the world. EH is around 7,50,000 sq km covering Bhutan, Nepal, southeast Tibet (China), northern Myanmar, and the Indian territories of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Sikkim. The whole of Bhutan (38,394 sq km) falls in the EH biodiversity hotspot. The exclusive biodiversity is heaven for biodiversity as the country's total forest cover exceeds 70 %. Bhutan's five National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries, one Strict Nature Reserve, and Biological Corridors are home to some of the globally endangered species like Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis), Bhutan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei) and Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). The country is home to around 300 medicinal plants, raw materials for the country's traditional medicine. The glaciers in the Bhutanese Himalaya are retreating at a fast rate. The management of Protected Areas, using non-wood products, going green, and waste management at the individual level are essential for biodiversity sustainability.
... [1] land area covering the Indian state of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal, Bhutan, Nepal, northern Myanmar and southeast Tibet (China) [26]. Bhutan is part of eight ecoregions, twenty-three important bird areas, important plant areas and wetlands with three Ramsar areas -Phobjikha, Khothokha and Bumdeling [17] [21].The constitution of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan mandates to keep 60 percent of its land under forest cover for all time to come [28], the current land under forest cover is 71 percent [5]. More than half (51.44 percent) of the land is protected under National Parks (5), Wildlife Sanctuaries (4), Strict Nature Reserve (1), and biological corridors connecting different protected areas [6]. ...
... More than half (51.44 percent) of the land is protected under National Parks (5), Wildlife Sanctuaries (4), Strict Nature Reserve (1), and biological corridors connecting different protected areas [6]. The country currently hosts 11,248 species within all taxa (figure 1) including the Black-necked Crane (Grusnigricollis), Great Hornbill (Bucerosbicornis), Rufousnecked Hornbill (Acerosnipalensis), White-bellied Heron (Ardeainsignis), Snow Leopard (Pantherauncia), Takin (Budorcastaxicolorwhitei), Chinese Pangolin (Manispentadactyla), Bhutan Swallowtail (Bhutanitisludlowi) and Blue Poppy (Meconopsisbhutanica) that are globally threatened [20] [21]. ...
... The new species record for Bhutan has occurred at a rate of 62 species per year (62.88%). Many of the species are not yet discovered and documented in Bhutan, there is a need for much research to document the undiscovered species (to science and Bhutan) and to understand species number and diversity [24] [21]. ...
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Bhutan lies to the East of Himalaya and it hosts around 11,248 species in all taxa. Bhutan's lush and green forest covers 71 percent of land which comes under the five National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 Strict Nature Reserve, Community Forests and biological corridors connecting different protected areas. More than half (51.44 percent) is protected by law and activities are restricted under certain circumstances. It is home to Takin (Budorcastaxicolorwhitei), White-bellied Heron (Ardeainsignis), Black-necked Crane (Grusnigricollis), Red Panda (Ailurusfulgens), Great Hornbill (Bucerosbicornis) and Chinese Pangolin (Manispentadactyla) that are globally threatened.Bhutan contributed around 23 new species between 2017 and 2020 which were new to science, and Bhutan's biodiversity holds immense opportunities for researchers and environmental scientists as its biodiversity is in early stage of discovery.To date, Bhutan records 1 species as Extinct (EX), 1 species as Extinct in the Wild (EW) and 134 species as Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) under International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This paper aims to report a checklist of globally threatened species listed in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from Bhutan. The paper also lists down the new species that were discovered in Bhutan since 2017. More researchers are needed to discover new species from Bhutan's rich and lush forest.
... Bhutan provides a safe home for four hornbill species: wreathed hornbill Aceros undulates, oriental pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris, rufous-necked hornbill Aceros nipalensis, and great hornbill Buceros bicornis [10]. Asian hornbills are hunted for their body parts (casque and tail feathers for traditional attire), for the consumption of their meat, and for their body fat, which is believed to have medicinal properties [11,12]. ...
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The great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and rufous-necked hornbill (Aceros nepalensis) are listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species due to the rapid decline of their population in the world. This research focuses on analyzing the habitat suitability of these two important bird species across Bhutan. A total of 51 presence locations were recorded from the field survey. The models were simulated using three topographic variables and 19 bioclimatic variables. The MaxEnt modelling technique was used for delineating the distribution potential habitat suitability map. The habitat suitability analysis for great hornbill and rufous-necked hornbill shows that 2% and 3% of Bhutan’s total geographical area were highly suitable, respectively. The approach of this study will be beneficial in identifying suitable areas and aid decision-makers in management and conservation of these vulnerable bird species.
... Bhutan provides a safe home for four hornbill species: wreathed hornbill Aceros undulates, oriental pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris, rufous-necked hornbill Aceros nipalensis, and great hornbill Buceros bicornis [10]. Asian hornbills are hunted for their body parts (casque and tail feathers for traditional attire), for the consumption of their meat, and for their body fat, which is believed to have medicinal properties [11,12]. ...
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The Great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and Rufous-necked Hornbill (Acerosnepalensis) are listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species due to the rapid decline of their population in the world. This research focuses on analysing the habitat suitability of these two important birdspecies across Bhutan. A total of 51 presence locations were recorded from the field survey. The models were simulated using three topographic variables and 19 bioclimatic variables. MaxEnt modelling technique was used for delineating the distribution potential habitat suitability map. The habitat suitability analysis for Great hornbill and Rufous-necked hornbill shows that 2% and 3% of Bhutan’s total geographical area were highly suitable, respectively. The approach of this study will be beneficial in identifying suitable areas and aiddecision-makers in management and conservation of these vulnerable bird species.
... Out of 1,438,769 [18] species in world, Bhutan is home to around 11,248 species (Table 1 & Figure 1) [21]. 136 species are listed as globally threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Table 2 & Figure 2) [30]. ...
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Bhutan lies to the East of Himalaya and it hosts around 11,248 species in all taxa. Bhutan's lush and green forest covers 71 percent of land which comes under the five National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 Strict Nature Reserve, Community Forests and biological corridors connecting different protected areas. More than half (51.44 percent) is protected by law and activities are restricted under certain circumstances. It is home to Takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei), White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis), Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) that are globally threatened. Bhutan contributed around 23 new species between 2017 and 2020 which were new to science, and Bhutan's biodiversity holds immense opportunities for researchers and environmental scientists as its biodiversity is in early stage of discovery. To date, Bhutan records 1 species as Extinct (EX), 1 species as Extinct in the Wild (EW) and 134 species as Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) under International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This paper aims to report a checklist of globally threatened species listed in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from Bhutan. The paper also lists down the new species that were discovered in Bhutan since 2017. More researchers are needed to discover new species from Bhutan's rich and lush forest.
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Bhutan is included in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. Because the country's total forest cover surpasses 70%, the exclusive hotspot is a paradise for rich biological diversity. Some of the world's most endangered species can be found in Bhutan's five national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, one strict nature reserve, a network of biological corridors, and even outside the Protected Areas. The country's documentation of its rich flora and fauna is in the early stage, and to document the biological diversity in Bhutan, more research needs to be carried out. Bhutan's biodiversity faces a major threat from anthropogenic activities and climate change.
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A study was carried out to assess the food and foraging behaviour of Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis in Zhemgang district, Bhutan, through incidental observations of feeding activity obtained while walking along trails, focal sampling observations, and from analysis of regurgitated seeds around nesting sites. Thirty-three species of fruits and a few invertebrates were observed being eaten by Rufous-necked Hornbill. Feeding occurred mostly from small branches (<75 mm diameter, 58.5%) and within 4–28 m above the ground. Active feeding in the non-breeding season usually occurred between 06:00–12:00 hrs and 15:00–17:00 hrs. Evidences of grazing and felling of fruiting tree calls for reinforcing conservation management in Zhemgang district
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Great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) which belongs to Bucerotidae family is a big bird found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is recorded as Endangered in Red data book of Nepal, Vulnerable in IUCN Red list, Appendix I of CITIES and protected species in NPWC Act 1973. It requires large and dense forest for feeding, roosting and nesting. Principally, the species is frugivorous, often an opportunist and prey on reptiles, small mammalian and avian species. In Nepal, it is distributed in the pocket areas of Chitwan, Bardia, Parsa districts and occasionally in Shuklaphanta National Park and patchily distributed outside protected areas. Despite being ecologically important species and severely threatened, the species is poorly studied and documented in Nepal. Thus, this paper aimed to review different published secondary sources to explore the conservation evidences of Great hornbill in Nepal. Numbers of papers are utilized to filter the results and interpret the information regarding its status, distribution and threats. We found that the population status of Great hornbill is in declining trend and the present population is expected to be on the range of 80-150 in Nepal. Habitats are threatened and endangered due to conventional hunting, deforestation, habitat loss and forest modifications at alarming rate. This study has suggested some action with ground level evidence in favor of Giant Hornbill to conserve this beautiful creature in wild.
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Hornbills are specialists in terms of their habitat, food and nest-site requirements, and play a very important role in the forest ecosystem as seed dispersers. The forests of Bhutan hold four species—Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus, Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris, Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis and Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis; the present study was carried out on the latter two species, both of which are easily detected due to their large size and loud calls. However, due to anthropogenic interference, both species are under threat and are today classified as Vulnerable. This study reports on the distribution, abundance, nesting behaviour, habitat characteristics and anthropogenic threats to Rufous-necked Hornbill and Great Hornbill in Zhemgang district, Bhutan.
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The Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis is a globally threatened species with limited information available on its natural history and ecology across its range in South- and South-east Asia. Within India, it is among the most endangered and one of the least studied hornbill species. We report densities of the Rufous-necked Hornbill at a subtropical montane forest site in western Arunachal Pradesh. The estimated densities were found to be fairly high (6.12 birds/km2) and similar to estimates from other sites in India. We characterised the vegetation composition, overall tree density and food plant density in the subtropical forest habitat.
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That the Himalaya contain the basins of major rivers, regulate regional climate, and harbor rich biodiversity and varied ecosystems is well known. The perennial waters and biodiversity are closely linked to the livelihoods of over a billion people. The Himalaya are stressed because of a burgeoning human population and the escalating pressures of deforestation; urbanization; hunting; overexploitation of forests; and, more recently, intensive dam building. The cumulative effects of these forces have led to biotic extinctions and an increased frequency of hazards threatening human lives, livelihoods, and property. However, there is largely no comprehensive account of these challenges facing the Himalaya. We review and discuss the importance of the Himalaya and the need for their conservation by exploring four broad themes: (1) geobiological history, (2) present-day biodiversity, (3) why the Himalaya are worth protecting, and (4) drivers of the Himalayan change. We suggest scientific policy interventions, a strengthening of institutions, and proactive institutional networking to reverse the trend.
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The Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, which is likely to impact large-bodied, wide-ranging species with specialised requirements such as hornbills.
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The responses of hornbills to selective logging were determined by comparing their diversity abundance in five habitats classified according to logging history. Relative abundance of three hornbill species was compared along trails in recently logged forest 20–25-year-old logged forest unlogged primary forest a relatively disturbed primary forest a plantation in Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary adjoining reserve forests in western Arunachal Pradesh. The species recorded were the Oriental pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris wreathed hornbill Aceros undulatus great hornbill Buceros bicornis. The great hornbill was the most common species overall its abundance varied across habitats being highest in unlogged forest. The Oriental pied hornbill which was recorded in only two habitats seemed to show a distinct habitat preference for secondary growth river-margin forests. Wreathed hornbill abundance did not differ between habitats. Differences in species abundance probably reflect aspects of their ecology such as degree of territoriality diet movement patterns differential vulnerability to hunting disturbance. Great hornbill abundance was correlated with large tree density (GBH &;ge 150 cm) basal area characteristic of unlogged primary forests while Oriental pied hornbill abundance was negatively correlated with tall forest indicating its greater numbers in low-stature river-margin forest. Wreathed hornbill abundance was not correlated with any vegetation variable which is probably related to its reported nomadic movements in search of fruit patches. Hornbill abundance was not correlated with densities of potential food nest tree species. Although hornbill abundance was not correlated with fig tree density this was probably because areas where relative fig tree densities were lower often contained a few large fruiting figs. Because hornbills are large mobile birds they can find resources such as fruiting figs even in otherwise unsuitable habitat.
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The Easterlin Paradox refers to the fact that happiness data are typically stationary in spite of considerable increases in income. This amounts to a rejection of the hypothesis that current income is the only argument in the utility function. We find that the happiness responses of around 350,000 people living in the OECD between 1975 and 1997 are positively correlated with the level of income, the welfare state and (weakly) with life expectancy; they are negatively correlated with the average number of hours worked, environmental degradation (measured by SOx emissions), crime, openness to trade, inflation and unemployment; all controlling for country and year dummies. These effects separate across groups in a pattern that appears broadly plausible (e.g., the rich suffer environmental degradation more than the poor). Based on actual changes from 1975 to 1997, small contributions to happiness can be attributed to the increase in income in our sample. Interestingly, the actual changes in several of the ‘omitted variables’ such as life expectancy, hours worked, inflation and unemployment also contribute to happiness over this time period since life expectancy has risen and the others have, on average, fallen. Consequently the unexplained trend in happiness is even bigger than would be predicted if income was the only argument in the utility function. In other words, introducing omitted variables worsens the income-without-happiness paradox.
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