Hornbill Release Program

Hornbill Release Program

Hornbill program

In recent years, following the increase of illegally traded hornbills we are confronted with more recued hornbills. Currently (January 2020) there are over 23 individuals in Cikananga Wildlife Center which means we have one of the biggest populations in captivity! Trade in hornbills is still increasing also due to internet sale, like Facebook!

A knobbed hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix) in Cikananga Wildlife Center

Because there are no specialized rescue – rehabilitation centers or release projects for hornbills in Indonesia, we could not translocate the hornbills. Therefore we are developing our own  rehabilitation and release project for hornbills. Initially we will focus on the Javanese species that we are currently housing but in the future we aim to include species of other islands.

With the help of intern Sam Oostra, who raised funding for the hornbills, Ouwehands Zoo Foundation and Orangutan Help project Luxembourg we were able to build suitable rehabilitation enclosures for the hornbills and to improve their diet. More natural and protein rich feedings are offered daily to the hornbills.

The first hornbills that we aim to release are thirteen young wreathed hornbills (Rhyticeros undulates). These wreathed hornbills were confiscated from wildlife trade in Java and were sheltered in Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre when only 6 to 8 months old. In the rehabilitation process there is extra focus on foraging behaviour, social behaviour , natural food intake. To analyse survival skills of the hornbills daily observations are done by staff, volunteers and students.

Habitat assessments and surveys started to find a suitable release place for them.

Since hornbill releases are very uncommon in Indonesia there is limited experience, which makes it a challenging program. But currently we are working together with IUCN Hornbill Specialist Group, Rangkong Indonesia Chester Zoo and Wildlife Reserves Singapore which are sharing valuable experience and advice.

A wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) currently in Cikananga

At this moment (January 2020) the biggest challenge is still to find a safe and suitable release site? for the hornbills.

As we are happy to share that we are making progess with enclosures, we are still looking for sponsors the take the next important steps to release hornbills and protect their habitats. In 2018 we got valuable support from Ouwehands Zoo Foundation to realize a rehabilation enclosure and support for the care of the Hornbills. With this help we can take another important for the future of Hornbills.

If you want to cooperate or sponsor our Hornbill Release Program, please contact us at info@wanicare.com

Supporters of the Hornbill Release Program:

orangutan hilfe wanicare CikanangAOuwehands Zoo Foundation Wanicare Cikananga Hornbills