The MNS Hornbill Volunteer Programme returned to Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in 2018 to count the migratory plain-pouched hornbill. The programme ran over two months in August and September, with four-day sessions attended by Malaysian Nature Society members, birdlovers and members of the public eager to assist in the Society’s conservation efforts in this green paradise.
Among the volunteers were two members of MNS Kuching Branch, Jason Teo Jia Hong and Batrisyia Teepol, who reported that their tasks included learning how to conduct a point count, in order to assist the counting process that takes place each morning and evening. The volunteers also interacted with the Orang Asli (indigenous) people who hosted their stay at Kg. Chuweh, one of the lakeside settlements in Temengor, on the southern part of the forest complex.
Teo reported that during his session on August, a total of 13.5 hours were dedicated to the count, with 284 plainpouched hornbills spotted. He also reported that during his session, four other hornbill species were sighted, namely the black hornbill, oriental-pied hornbill, great hornbill and wreathed hornbill, while during Batrisyia’s session, the oriental pied and black hornbills were spotted, alongside the white-crowned hornbill.
Teo remarked that that the overall plainpouched hornbill population may be higher than what was observed, as the birds may “potentially be flying behind clouds, trees and mountains”.