The plain-pouched hornbill, or Aceros Subruficollis, is one of dozens of species in the hornbill family. Hornbills are typically found in various tropical and subtropical forests in Africa and Asia, but they are an icon for this Southeast Asian nation of 29 million people. The plain-pouched hornbill, which is similar in size to a medium-sized eagle, plays a key role in the ecosystem by dispersing the seeds of various forest fruits. Their decline in the Belum-Temengor forest reserve is similar to their steep falloff in Myanmar. The bird was relatively common and abundant in Myanmar, but there have been no recent recorded sightings, and it appears to have undergone a rapid decline in at least one area in the country. The Malaysian Nature Society has been monitoring seasonal migration movements since 2004, logging a maximum count of 3,261 plain-pouched hornbills in Belum-Temengor. Subsequent counts have been much lower, numbering fewer than 1,000 birds.
Source: Southeast Asia Realtime, 2 October 2013
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