Cape Kudu Hotel, on the charming little island of Koh Yao Noi has become well-known as a luxury holiday destination. Now the hotel has organised the activity “Homes for Hornbills at Cape Kudu”, in conjunction with a local school to support the native Hornbill population on the island by constructing and installing nest-boxes as their new homes to encourage these majestic birds to breed and re-build their numbers.
From the time of the National Park Acts (1961), the Thai Government has been promoting the protection of wild animals indigenous to Thailand and their habitats. However, with continued deforestation, habitats are still being lost. The spectacular Hornbills, whose bright yellow bill is almost as big as the black feathered body, have been brightening the forests and skies of Koh Yao Noi for thousands of years. Now, with the approach of the modern world on this lovely little island, the Hornbills are facing threats of destruction of their habitat and intrusion from human activity. The Management of Cape & Kantary Hotels has taken a unilateral decision to act in support of the dwindling Hornbill population and to provide extra breeding sites for these amazing birds.
Hornbills are emblematic of this island. They will usually find a large natural hole in the trunk of a giant tree in which to nest and raise their young but the number of suitably large trees is in decline. In order to help to boost the Hornbill population, at Cape Kudu Hotel we consulted noted ornithologist Mr.Paradorn Butlakhorn over nest-box design and invited students from Koh Yao Wittaya School to join us ornbollHin a construction and installation project. By involving the local community and particularly local students, we hope to highlight the importance of these efforts to their own environment and the future of their forests.
On the planned date the invited media witnessed the teamwork of students as they measured and cut a timber frame and assembled a large nest-box by covering the frame with heavy cotton sheeting. These first valuable hours saw the successful construction of three nest-boxes which were duly installed at safe locations likely to attract a mating pair. Hornbills mate for life and everyone was delighted and positively excited to see, next morning, a Hornbill checking in to its new home. Although the birds are native to the island, it is in fact quite rare to see them so openly associating in close proximity to human activity.
This cooperation between the hotel and the local school is planned to continue with further construction and the installation of nest-boxes in remoter areas of forest. Mr.Poomiphat Navanukroh, Group Director for Travel lndustry at Cape & Kantary Hotels said, “We are very aware of our responsibility in preserving the natural world that surrounds us at our properties and we encourage our guests to observe the Hornbills here without disturbing them.”
Mrs.Tirawan Taechaubol, owner and Group Project Development Manager of Cape & Kantary Hotels, stressed the importance of the work. She said, “Our concern for these remarkable creatures goes back to the first day of our development here which is why we named the restaurant after them. We truly appreciate being able to site ourselves here on this lovely island and the support we have received from the local people is most encouraging and at the same time very humbling. With their support and their blessing, we introduced this programme to encourage the Hornbill numbers to increase and strengthen. The Hornbill are happy to share this island with us but we are duty bound to respect their home.”