Will the Philippines become a hornbill graveyard?

Dr. William Oliver

British conservationist Dr. William Oliver, director of Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc (PBCFI), believes another species of Philippine hornbill will become extinct within the next five years.

Oliver, a frequent visitor to Bacolod as the PBCFI is a partner of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation (NFEFI), made the prediction at last week’s International Hornbill Conference in Makati.

“It’s inevitable and it’s depressing,” he said “But, with sufficient effort the future can be secured if enough priority is given to these magnificent birds. Having said that I don’t hold out a lot of hope for a large percentage of that species.”

Hornbill gab slated for April 24-26

6th International Hornbill Conference

Dr. Joanne Justo, curator of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation’s (NFEFI) Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC) in Bacolod City, will join other experts at the 6th International Hornbill Conference at the Ayala Museum and Asian Institute of Management, Makati City on April 24-26.

Organized by the Wild Bird Cub of the Philippines, Hornbill Research Foundation and Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, this is the first time the conference will be held in the Philippines.

While the conference topic may appear to be somewhat esoteric to some, Dr. Justo emphasized that these beautiful birds play a serious role in our ecology as they are important seed dispersers and more needs to be done to protect them.

“A number of species of hornbill are threatened with extinction including the two species that are found in Negros Island,” said Dr. Justo.