What is the News?
Gujarat Forest Department is reintroducing the Indian grey hornbill(IGH) in Gir Forest after almost ninety years when they vanished from this largest contiguous forest tract in western India.
What is an Indian Grey Hornbill?
Indian Grey Hornbill ( Ocyceros birostris) is a fairly common hornbill species found only in the Indian subcontinent. It is a medium-sized hornbill with a brownish-grey body.
IUCN Status: Least Concern.
Diet: They feed on fruits and berries from fig trees, insects, reptiles (snakes, lizards), small birds (mostly fledglings) but on occasion can go after slightly bigger adult birds as well.
Significance: It plays an essential role in the ecosystem as prime dispersers of seeds. It is also one of the few hornbill species found in urban areas in many cities, where they are able to make use of large trees in avenues.
These birds are known to be arboreal, i.e. spend most of their time on tall trees but may descend for food and to collect mud pellets for nesting.
Threats: They are threatened primarily by habitat loss in the city and the cutting down of large trees, which is important for both food and nesting.
Source: This post is based on the article “Indian grey hornbill reintroduced in Gir after decades” published in Hindustan Times on 1st March 2022.