Narcondam Hornbill

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 forestsopen 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.

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