Friday, August 31, 2012

Save Piasau OPH Group on Facebook

Oriental Pied Hornbill, a male from Piasau Camp attending to a secluded nestling female.

Please come and join our new "Save Piasau OPH" Facebook Group in support of a pair of nesting Oriental Pied Hornbill and their new nestlings at Piasau Camp.

Over many generations, a family of Oriental Pied Hornbill has been making Piasau Camp their home. If you have lived in the area or have spent time driving through the neighbourhood you would have noticed this beautiful hornbills gracefully gliding around the neighbourhood. They would be hanging around the tall casuarinas along the road or foraging nearby hunting for food. At one time they were particularly fond of hanging out at Piasau 100 by the beach.

Our branch Chairman, Musa Musbah and his team have been dilligently recording and observing the Piasau OPH family for several years now. With impending evacuation of Piasau Camp and upcoming redevelopment of the area, our crew have been putting extra efforts in documenting the goings on of  a pair of nesting OPH at an undisclosed location.

Our objective for Save Piasau OPH campaign is first and foremost to highlight the issue of the destruction of habitat and potential displacement of the OPH family from the Piasau area. With that we also hope to raise the awareness level of our community about hornbills in our midst. Believe it or you are more likely to see this emblematic bird of Sarawak elsewhere than in the land of hornbills itself.

From factsheet:

This species has an extremely large range,  with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation. Anthracoceros albirostris is a widespread resident in northern South Asia, southern China, Indochina and western Indonesia. Though the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be the commonest Asian hornbill (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

It was recently noted that this species has been almost completely extirpated from southern China (J. Fellowes in litt. 2010).

In the Thai-Malay Peninsula, the species may be threatened by off-take for the trade in fledglings and outright forest clearance (Wells 1999). There is some evidence that the species has traditionally been captured for the local pet trade, as historically one to two were reportedly kept in every village in at least some areas of Myanmar (Tickell 1864 in Kemp 1995).

The casques of Oriental Pied Hornbills are common souvenirs in the markets of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam; however, the extent of this trade has not been measured (Kinnaird and O’Brien 2007).

This species is considered the most adaptable of the hornbills to landscape modification and thus the least threatened owing to its very wide range, small size and broad habitat preferences (S. Mahood in litt. 2012, D. Bakewell in litt. 2012).

The provision of artificial nest space in Singapore has secured the return of the species as a nesting breeder, with 50-60 individuals in 2010 (G. Davison in litt. 2012). Similar small successes have been recorded in Panaga, Brunei (H. Dols, pers comm).

BirdLife International (2012) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from from contributors : Bakewell, D., Davison, G., Duckworth, W., Goes, F., Kemp, A., Mahood, S., Thompson, P.

It has been said that once all the big forests of Sarawak has all been cleared away, OPH will likely remain the only hornbill you'll ever see in Sarawak due to it's adaptability and fairly successful attempts at living amidst humans. We are hoping that this day would never come.

Help us save this nesting family by supporting us at Save Piasau OPH Facebook Group, and along the way learn more about hornbills, the proud emblem for Sarawak.

To find out how you can help this campaign, please email us : MNS Miri Branch "Save Piasau OPH".

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