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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 15, 2013
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6th int’l hornbill
conference slated April 24-26

The 6th international conference on hornbill will be conducted on April 24-26 at the Ayala Museum and Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, and Joanne Justo, curator of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation's Biodiversity Conservation Center in Bacolod City will be one of the participants.

Themed “Hornbills and Caring Communities: Helping Forests to Thrive,” the event is organized by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Hornbill Research Foundation and the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, and the first time to be held in the country, a press release from NFEFI said.

It aims to reflect the integral relationships between hornbills and ecological communities and the role they play in ensuring the sustainability of forests and in providing ecosystem services.

Delegates from around the world are expected to participate in the conference that also aims to bring together people studying or interested in hornbills to present and share studies, information and conservation techniques.

Keynote speakers are Pilai Poonswad from the Hornbill Research Foundation at Mahidol University in Bangkok, and Juan Carlos Gonzalez, assistant professor at the Institute for Biological Sciences at the University of the Philippines Los Baños in Laguna, the press release said.

Justo said that, after the conference, a group of delegates is expected to visit NFEFI to see the center's three species of hornbills and hear about local programs to protect and conserve these and other wildlife.

She said a number of species of hornbill are threatened with extinction, including the two that are found in Negros Island, the press release also said.

The Rufous-headed hornbill, or Aceros waldeni, is considered one of the most threatened species in the world, and is only known or presumed to exist in the islands of Panay, Negros and Guimaras. The other species, Visayan Tarictic Hornbill or Penelopides Panini, is found in Negros, the press release added.*

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