Hornbills: A flagship species in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Anurag Vishwakarma, Awadhesh Kumar, Murali Krishna

Abstract


Flagships species of birds play a pivotal role for promoting avitourism, encouraging people for their conservation and finally maintain ecosystem services. Among the bird species, hornbills are charismatic birds and the main attraction of Arunachal Pradesh due to their large body and unique bill and its significant cultural importance among the tribial society of the state. In this study three hornbill species i.e., Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulates), Oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), and Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) are documented in and around the forest areas of Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. The point count method was used for counting hornbills in the forest area and a total of 57 individuals of three hornbill species were recorded in 26 sampling points. The highest density/km2 of hornbill was recorded for Wreathed hornbills (21.9±8.9) followed by the Great hornbills (13.4±3.3) and Oriental Pied Hornbill (10.9±2.8). Four roosting sites were recorded. Of these, three sites were in the fringe area of Pakke and one in inside the Pakke Tiger Reserve. A total of 150±70 individuals of hornbills were recorded through direct count method in the roosting sites. Darlong village was identified as having highest individuals of Wreathed Hornbill (79±46.7) followed by A2 Village (Wreathed Hornbill: 29.7±9) and Khari camp (Wreathed Hornbill: 20±5) and Langka camp (Oriental Pied Hornbill: 21.8±9.4). The present study described that  roosting sites are the most effective and easiest way to watch hornbills by visitors in the Pakke Reserve area.

Keywords


Flagship species; Hornbills; Pakke Tiger Reserve; Avitourism; Conservation

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