In Chin State, the population of the great hornbill (Buceros bicornis), also known as the great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill is declining, according to environmental conservationists. The government has urged local residents to protect Chin State’s great pied hornbills, along with the Taungzalat trees, which are also in danger of becoming extinct, and are both symbols of the state. To save the two symbols of the Chin people from extinction, conservationists are making monthly conservation efforts to protect the birds using SMART Technology. As a national duty, all of us are obliged to conserve Chin State’s hornbills and the Taungzalat trees, to ensure they do not become extinct. We welcome the joint efforts of local residents and conservationists from the Forest Department in Magway on 31 October, when they released ten great hornbill birds back to their reserve. Thirty years ago, we could see hornbills in many areas in the southern part of Chin State. But now, we can spot them in only five areas. Today, tourists are not able to see the great pied hornbills, which are a proud symbol of the state, as their numbers are rapidly declining due to hunting. Conservationists have warned that hunting, which is considered part of the traditional culture of the Chin people, is driving several species of wildlife into extinction, including the hornbills, which are hunted for food.
The great hornbill, the state bird, is mostly found in the southern part of Chin State. In a survey conducted in March 2017, conservationists found the remaining birds residing in only a few locations. Twelve hornbills were recorded by conservationists with the use of SMART technology near Nhone Village in Mindet in January this year, according to the Forest Department. The conservationists from the department have organised committees, appointing four local youths in their camps to develop procedures to protect the birds. But, there remain many difficulties in systematically protecting wild animals in their natural environment, as they face daily assaults by illegal hunters and poachers. The main reasons why the hornbills are being brought to the brink of extinction is because they are hunted for food, and also for trophies. The worst reason is because the heads of hornbills are used to decorate guest rooms in homes. For these reasons, it is necessary to organize local residents to actively take part in conserving the natural environment, and to educate the public about conserving our priceless natural environment.