BY Donna Parham

Protecting Birds of the Asian Rainforest

Through our Asian Rainforest Conservation Hub, we are partnering to protect the hornbills of Southeast Asia. Many of these remarkable birds are threatened, and some are critically endangered. We partner with two organizations that are working hard to bolster hornbill populations in their native range.

In Northeast India, we partner with the Hornbill Nest Adoption Program, a community-based conservation initiative. Local tribal villagers patrol and protect hornbill nesting trees in forests around villages on the fringe of the Pakke Tiger Reserve, and project funding pays their salaries. With our involvement, they have been able to increase their protection to cover 30 additional nests. Pakke is a haven for hornbills, home to four of nine local species: the great hornbill Buceros bicornis, wreathed hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus, oriental pied hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris, and rufous-necked hornbill Aceros nipalensis.

Artificial nest barrels installed high in trees give great hornbills more options for nesting and raising chicks

In Malaysia, we partner with a local conservation organization called Gaia to fund artificial nest barrels for hornbills. With our help, the organization built, transported, and installed two of their nest barrels in Terengganu, Malaysia—an area that is frequented by great hornbills but had not previously had artificial nest options for the birds. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has a long history working with and protecting great hornbills, which are listed as vulnerable, and are decreasing in their native habitats.