Innovative idea to protect Hornbill

Itanagar: To protect the endangered Hornbill (state bird of Arunachal Pradesh) from certain extinction, an organization in East Kameng district has embarked on an innovative idea to conserve the avian species.

Ghora Aabhe Society (GAS) the NGO at Seijosa in the district has prohibited felling of trees, bamboos and jhum cultivation within the radius of 150 metres to 350 metres of the nesting sites of the bird under customary laws with effective immediately. Violators would be imposed fines up to one lakh, a communique issued by the Society said here today.

Four rare species of the bird including Great Hornbill, Rufus Hornbill, Wreathe Hornbill and Oriental Hornbill are found in Seijosa. Taking serious note on poaching, hunting, illegal fishing and timber operations in Seijosa area, the society further decided to impose hefty fines on those involved in such illegal activities.

Killing of a Hornbill would invite penalties upto Rs.50, 000 while a fine of two lakh would be imposed on killing of a Tiger, the communique informed adding, informers of such illegal activities would be rewarded 50 per cent of the collected amount through penalty.

The customary laws were adopted by the GAS, a forum of gaon burahs (village heads) of Seijosa on March 1 last. So far 10 persons from 9 villages of Seijosa area have got employment in Hornbill Adoption Project, the first of its kind in India.

Currently, GAS along with Nature Conservation Foundation of Mysore, department`s officials of Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary (Tiger Reserve) and local people are jointly working on the project.