Conservation Action Plan for Hornbills of Bhutan2023-2033

Conservation Action Plan for Hornbills of Bhutan2023-2033

Bhutan is situated in the region of eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot and she encompasses different ecological zones that provisions suitable habitats for various species of flora and fauna to thrive. A total of 762 bird species have been recorded in the country till date, many of which are globally threatened.

Out of diverse avian species, Hornbills are charismatic bird species and are known for their distinctive appearance with large beaks, unique breeding, and adaptation behaviors. Presently, 54 species of hornbills have been recorded globally, out of which 33 species are found in Asia. As for Bhutan, it is home to five species of hornbills with three species listed under Vulnerable category, one species as Near Threatened, and one species as Least Concerned category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

This action plan identified threats such as habitat fragmentation and loss, depletion of food resources, hunting and poaching, diseases, and disturbances on nesting sites impacting the hornbills of Bhutan, with overall threat ranked in Medium category through Miradi Threat Ranking process. If unaddressed, these threats will significantly trigger a decline in hornbill populations in Bhutan.

Therefore, this document outlines the conservation goal and strategic objectives as follows;

Goal: By 2033, Hornbill habitats are sustainably managed and conservation secured for the threatened hornbills in partnership with local communities.

  • Objective 1: Secure suitable habitats to support thriving population of Hornbills in Bhutan
  • Objective 2: Engage local communities and stakeholders in Hornbill conservation through awareness and integrated conservation development programs
  • Objective 3: Increase science-based information on ecology, habitat, threats, and conservation status of hornbills in Bhutan

This action plan aims to sustainably manage and conserve the threatened hornbills and their habitats by involving local communities through proper awareness and integrated conservation-development programmes. It also intends to increase science-based information on ecology, habitats, and threats of hornbills in Bhutan so that we can prioritize conservation actions and make timely interventions.

The action plan outlines the budget requirement of Nu. 180.00 million for implementation of actions for the next ten years. The budget will be sourced from various conservation partners and donors. The Nature Conservation Division and Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forestry Research and Training will coordinate the implementation of this plan, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and field offices. The Forest Monitoring and Information Division of the department will monitor its implementation.