Context: Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP), is celebrating its tenth year of success in 2022.
HNAP is a community-based hornbill conservation programme launched in 2012 by the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) in partnership with the Ghora-Aabhe Society (a council of village headmen in the Nyishi tribe) and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department.
The Program takes inspiration from Pilai Poonswad’s initiative in Thailand that protects several species of hornbills in partnership with local villagers.
HNAP is based on the idea that the local community protects the habitat and the nests, while other citizens and institutions adopt nests to support the running costs of the programme.
Thus, the hornbill chicks have three sets of parents: the biological parents, the local Nyishi (tribes of Arunachal Pradesh) nest protectors, and adoptive hornbill parents who support the programme financially.
The biggest achievement of the programme was that it has been able to fledge 173 hornbill chicks of three hornbill species namely great hornbill, wreathed hornbill and oriental pied hornbill — and protection of 35 hornbill nests in the reserve forest in 10 years.
It has provided a source of livelihood to a number of people who were earlier hunters.
Hornbills are indicators of the health of a forest, they are seed dispersers and rightly called the ‘farmers of the forest’; but they are globally threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and hunting.