The Importance of Woodlands in Tropical Agricultural Landscapes

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Agricultural expansion continues to be a major cause of forest loss and degradation in the tropics. It often results in negative impacts on the resident floral and faunal communities inhabiting the forests. These communities have so far best been safeguarded by preventing forest loss and degradation through the establishment of Protected Areas (PAs)—legal conservation frameworks such as National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Community Reserves. However, the social and political realities of today make the further establishment and expansion of PAs … Read More

A ‘Real’ Great Hornbill Mount, Nagaland

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This image taken at the annual 2010 Hornbill Festival in Nagaland shows real (top) and fake hornbill mounts being sold. According to the photographer, there were at least half a dozen real heads on display in addition to hornbill tail feathers. The govt. of Nagaland has been attempting to move various tribes from using real hornbill body parts (head, casque and feathers) as part of their costumes and handicrafts — with mixed results.… Read More

Athirappilly Hydroelectric Project in Kerala Threatens Great Hornbills

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The 163-MW Athirappilly hydroelectric project proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board could wipe out Great Hornbills from these unique low-elevation (180 m MSL) riparian forests. The Athirappilly Falls is situated on the Chalakudy river, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirappilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the one of the few places in the Western Ghats where all four endangered … Read More