Hornbill Watch: an exciting citizen-science initiative

Hornbill Watch is a new interactive website which allows the public to share hornbill sightings and images and learn about the biology and current threats to hornbills in India. It is hoped that this data can be used to identify and prioritise sites for hornbill conservation in India in the future.

Aparajita Datta

2013 Whitley Award winner, Aparajita Datta is one of the senior scientists at the Nature Conservation Foundation – an NGO established to promote science-based wildlife conservation in India. She leads a programme to conserve hornbills in the India Eastern Himalaya and Hornbill Watch is her most recent initiative in partnership with Conservation India.

Great hornbill (by Kalyan Varma)

Hornbills are threatened by increasing habitat destruction and therefore it is essential that Aparajita and her team have a good understanding of their distribution to target conservation efforts. Hornbill Watch will be a valuable tool for enhancing this understanding and also aims to raise awareness amongst the wider community about the current status of hornbills, their importance in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems and the threats they face. This citizen-science project forms part of Aparajita’s participatory community outreach programme and will hopefully encourage more people to get involved in conservation in India.