Context: Recently, an award-winning wildlife photographer KA Dhanuparan recalls the “special moment” when he caught a first glimpse of the ‘Narcondam hornbill’ with its velvet-black plumage and over-sized yellow beak.
About Narcondam Hornbill
- It is endemic to the Narcondam Island in Andamans.
- It is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami) is a species of hornbill in the Bucerotidae family.
- It is a fairly small hornbill species, with a black body and distinct short, white tail.
- It feeds mainly on fruit, with figs making up the majority of the diet.
- It is closely related to Blyth’s hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus) and Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus).
- The Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of these hornbill species in India is the Narcondam Island Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The natural ecosystems of these species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, open mixed forests and tropical and sub-tropical moist shrublands.
- The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Evaluated’ for the Narcondam hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami) and is listed in Appendix II.