Borneo’s Helmeted Hornbills Are Now Endangered Due to Poaching

(source: Joel Sartore)

In a post by National Geographic, the demand for the helmeted hornbill in the China black market has brought doom the birds, making them more endangered than the elephants that are already disappearing from the wildlife. The beautiful birds – native of the Malay Peninsula of Borneo and Sumatra – are now vanishing at an alarming rate, and are hunted for their red ‘keratin’ helmets on their heads.

The species breeds once a year and hatches just one chick at a time. Since the females rely on the males for food, the poaching of the male is also “a death sentence” for the female and her chick, which adds more to the issue.

Filmmaker Luca Verducci went on a trail to unravel the story behind this illegal trade by following both poachers and conservation photographers in their search for the critically endangered species.

Watch the short documentary below to know what the future holds for these birds:

Although wealthy buyers in China are in the market for the birds’ ivory horns, the native people of Borneo have carved hornbill casques into intricate ornamental pieces for more than 2,000 years.

With the rapid decline of animals, we wonder what the future will look like for the generation that will come after us. Will it be all concrete, and no jungle?

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