Hornbills and endemic birds: a conservation status survey across the Western Ghats, India

The conservation survey report on hornbills and endemic birds across the Western Ghats. Proposes recommendations to Government of India for reinstating the Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar and Indian grey hornbill in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, likely to impact large-bodied, wide-ranging species such as hornbills, as well as endemic species with restricted ranges and specialised requirements. In this survey along the Western Ghats, surveyed for four hornbill species that occur: Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus and Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris (endemic to Indian subcontinent), Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus (endemic to Western Ghats), and the Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis. Also recorded all bird species, especially the 16 restricted-range species. One or more species occurs in each major forest type (tropical dry thorn and deciduous to wet evergreen) in the region. Visited 45 localities across five states: Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. This included 26 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 5 National Parks, 13 Reserved Forests, and one plantation landscape.