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PRELIMS BOOSTERS – 2018: Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and Wetlands International 






Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and Wetlands International 


Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis)


  1. Near threatened– IUCN Red List
  2. State bird of Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Local names —  homrai(Nepal), banrao, Vezhaambal
  4. Long-lived, living for nearly 50 years in captivity
  5. Found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia
  6. Predominantly frugivorous, but is an opportunist and will prey on small mammals, reptiles and birds.
  7. Appendix Iof CITES
  8. Cultural significance
  • Its impressive size and colour have made it important in many tribal cultures and rituals.
  • Beaks and head are used in charms
  • Flesh is believed to be medicinal
  • Young birds are considered a delicacy
  • Tribesmen in parts of northeastern India and Borneo use the feathers for head-dresses, and the skulls are often worn as decorations
  • Zomi, a festival without a hornbill feather is incomplete
  1. Threats
  • Logging
  • Forest clearance for agriculture
  • susceptible to hunting pressure
  • The casque and tail feathers are targeted in many locations across the range; both are used as adornments by local communities

 Wetlands International 

  1. Head office — Ede, the Netherlands
  2. independent, not-for-profit, global organization that works to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity.
  3. work — works through partnerships 
  • research and community-based field projects
  • advocacy and engagement with governments
  • corporate and international policy fora and conventions
  1. History
  • 1937 — International Wildfowl Inquiry– protection of waterbirds
  • Later International Waterfowl & Wetlands Research Bureau(IWRB) — protection of waterbirds and wetland areas
  • Later, organisations with similar objectives emerged in Asia and the Americas: the Asian Wetland Bureau(AWB) (initiated as INTERWADER in 1983) and Wetlands for the Americas (WA) (initiated in 1989).
  • In 1991, the three organisations started to work closely together.
  • In 1995, the working relation developed into the global organisation Wetlands International.


  1. Wetland and ramsar sites
  • A wetland is a place where the land is covered by water, either salt, fresh or somewhere in between.
  • Marshes and ponds, the edge of a lake or ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood—all of these are wetlands
  • Wetlands of international importance are also known as Ramsar sites
  • There are currently over 2,200 Ramsar Sites around the world
  • India –26