Agartala: Taking a cue from Nagaland’s world famous annual Hornbill Festival, Tripura government for the first time to hold two-day Hornbill Festival with twin goal - conservation of the striking forest bird “Hornbill” and to boost the livelihood of the people through tourism.
The “Hornbill” festival, named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the tribes among the tribals in northeast India, usually takes place in the first week of December every year since 2000 at Naga heritage village Kisama, about 12 km from Nagaland capital Kohima.
To boost tourism and to conserve nature and to further build up the inter-tribal interaction, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur also of late started organising the “Hornbill” festival, which has been considered as the “Festival of Festivals” in Nagaland.
Tripura’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dvijendra Kumar Sharma said that Tripura is on the forefront of the eco-tourism in the northeastern region, the upcoming two-day “Hornbill” festival from February 8 would serve twin purpose - conservation of the spectacular forest bird “Hornbill” and to boost the livelihood of the people by flourishing tourism.
“The decline in oriental pied hornbill population has been reported mainly due to felling of old and big trees, which decreases the availability of suitable nesting and fruit trees. Conservation efforts such as captive breeding and reintroduction are currently in practice,” Sharma told IANS.
He said that the Hornbill family includes about 55 living species, out of which India is a home to nine species of hornbills, of which two are endemic.
Of the nine species found in India include, Great Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Grey Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Rufous Necked Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Austen’s Brown Hornbill and Narcondam Hornbill.
Sharma, a renowned and popular author of many important books on biodiversity, forests and wildlife, said : “Hornbills are unique birds, having the horn-like projection called a ‘casque’ on top of their beak. They are larger than other forest birds and are flashy with their over-sized beaks, bright skin around their eyes and long eyelashes. (IANS)