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National Coordination Meeting on the Conservation and Trade of the Helmeted Hornbill

The Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (DG NREC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) organized a national coordination meeting on the implementation of the conservation and trade of the Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) in Medan, Tuesday (16/5). Burung Indonesian participated in the occasion.

In addition to the discussion on the protection of Helmeted Honrbill from trading, the DG NREC conveyed the results of the Helmeted Hornbill resolution at the Conference of the Parties (COP) on the 2017 Convention on International Trade in Wild Flora and Fauna Species (CITES). The protection of this endangered bird species from hunting is increasingly being implemented. The Helmeted Hornbill is included in the CITES Appendix I list, which means that catching this species in the wild is an illegal activity.

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Like elephant tusk hunting, the inclusion of the Helmeted Hornbill in the Appendix I list encourages parties to adapt an integrated approach to conservation and legal protection, as well as improve public education and strengthen cooperation between relevant legal entities to prevent this hornbill species from becoming extinct.

Among the 13 types of hornbill in Indonesia, the Helmeted Hornbill is the most unique because of its distinctive casque shape. It is also considered the strongest compared to other types. The casques are used by the males to fight, and by both sexes to drive out insects from weak trees.

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In addition to its unique and large physical appearance—it can reach 110-125 cm in size—the Helmeted Hornbill is identified by its loud resonance. This frugivore is also known as the “forest farmer” for its habit of spreading seeds across the forests. Besides hunting pressure, the Helmeted Hornbill habitat and population are also threatened by the invasion of oil palm plantations. (MEI)