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Hornbill Conservation Project, Belum-Temengor - COMPLETED

14 Feb 2013

There are a total of ten (10) different types of hornbills found in Malaysia, of which all can be found in the Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve, Perak State. Reputed to possess high levels of biodiversity, Belum-Temengor is one of the last remaining frontiers that support sizable populations of large birds such as hornbills.

During the second expedition in 1998 (at Sg. Tan Hain, Belum Forest Reserve), the identity of these Aceros hornbills was confirmed as the Plain-pouched Hornbills Aceros subruficollisThis confirmed the presence of a previously unrecorded species of hornbill in Malaysia, making Belum-Temengor one of the two sites in the country with 10 hornbill species to date.

Marking a new country record in 1999, the Plain-pouched Hornbill became a fascinating species needing attention, simply because the numbers in this biologically diverse site were unprecedented anywhere else in the world, putting Belum-Temengor on the map as one of global conservation importance. This served as a catalyst for the MNS Hornbill Conservation Project which strives to gain knowledge and information on hornbills in order to conserve their home, the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex.

The Hornbill survey was incepted in February 2004, made possible with the support from a number of grants and foundations, namely, Rufford Small Grant, Nagao Natural Environment Foundation, Asia Bird Fund, Leica-Forktail Award, British American Tobacco (Malaysia), Singapore Zoo and Sime Plantations Sdn Bhd. Although the hornbill survey focuses on the Plain-pouched Hornbill (Aceros subruficollis), other hornbill species are also noted of when observed during survey trips. 

The Hornbill survey team led by Yeap Chin Aik, which consists of MNS staffs and experienced members, periodically make trips into Belum-Temengor to look for the magnificent creatures, engaging the local indigenous community to be involved in the surveys. 

Large flocks of Plain-pouched Hornbills are observed flying across the Belum-Temengor skyline between July and November every year. In fact, in August 2004, about 1,000 Plain-pouched Hornbills have been sighted on a single sighting. 

It is hoped that the project will contribute towards understanding the ecology and biology of the globally threatened and near-threatened hornbills. Through this, it is hoped that the knowledge gained through the project will help to improve protection for the hornbills and its habitat.

Download the Hornbill Conservation Project 5th Update to know what is this project all about and what are the results achieved so far. Click here to download.


MNS Hornbill Volunteer Programme 

MNS initiated the volunteer programme in 2008 for non-scientists to take part in monitoring the Plain-pouched Hornbill (PPHB) and be part of the national and global conservation effort to save the hornbills and its habitat, ie the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex. The hornbill researchers could not be on the site full time and therefore help is needed from the public. Join us in our efforts to tell the world that the hornbills are needed for a functional healthy forest in Belum-Temengor and must be protected for the years to come.

August and September is the season where thousands of Plain-pouched Hornbills (PPHB) flock to Belum-Temengor forest, perhaps in search of food or for reasons unclear at the moment. This is why this volunteer programme was initiated. For these two months, volunteers will count the PPHB twice daily. This flight census will offer valuable information on population numbers which in turn will be used to advocate for the protection of Temengor forest, especially in addressing logging threats.

The second reason for HVP is for you to let go of the convenient, busy, connected world and go back to basics experiencing the peace and tranquillity. No wifi, no electricity, no piped water, no enclosed bathrooms, and no lumbar support beds. Learn to live with less. Learn teamwork, sharing and caring with your camp mates. This year we will have another art competition for you to participate in, a bit different from last year.

Details on the volunteer programme will be updated soon. For more information, please email /

Official blog:



  arrowHCP 6th Update - December 2013 to June 2014 (English - pdf - 8375 Kb)   

  arrowMNS HCP Update 7 - (July 2014 - December 2014) (English - pdf - 11067 Kb)   


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