Hornbill Nest Adoption Program

Today, we take you to the North- East part of the country, where the community that once hunted, has become a fierce protector of the wild. Come celebrate the spirit of not only co-existence but a change of heart with us.

Readers are welcome to share any experience they may have of the community or of the East of our country.

When a community adopts: The story of Hornbills

A community like any other the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in the past hunted. The target was the Great Hornbill, which was hunted not only for its meat but also for its casque ( the defining feature of a Hornbill), which was used as decoration on a traditional Nyishi headgear.

However, unlike most communities, the Nyishi’s have now turned protectors of those they used to hunt by even replacing their traditional headgear with that of fiberglass. Owing to the tireless pursuing and convincing by the Forest Department, by 2002, although hunting by the community had reduced, the protection model needed a much larger impact which came in form of a collaboration between the Arunachal Forest Department, the ‘Ghora – Aabhe’ (a local NGO formed by the Nyishi village headmen) and  NCF (Nature Conservation Foundation).

In 2011, a team of 11 local people were selected, as ‘nest protectors’ who were in charge of protection of individual trees with Hornbill nests and were also given the responsibility of locating and monitoring other nests on the fringes of Pakke Tiger Reserve.

An exemplary model of co- existence and protection, the Hornbills who were threatened mainly due to hunting and destruction of habitat, have got a new lease of life not only owing to the community but also to people in the concrete jungle who are given an opportunity to act as protectors and contribute by adopting nests for a certain sum of money.

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