Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
Using fine-resolution satellite imagery from multiple satellite data products, we assessed the change in forest cover of a state-managed Reserve Forest (RF) located in India’s Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hot-spot. 4.6% of forest cover was lost from Papum RF between 2013 and 2017 at the rate of 8.2 km2 year–1. Three species of hornbills: Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis Linnaeus, 1758, Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus (Shaw, 1811) and Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris (Shaw, 1808), that are functionally important are found here with nesting habitat in the areas affected by illegal logging. Therefore, we assessed the habitat loss within a 1 km radius around 29 nest trees. From 2011 to 2019, forest cover declined from 38.55 km2 to 21.94 km2 around these hornbill nest trees. Illegal logging is the main driver that is depleting forest cover within this important bird area. Our results highlight the ongoing threats to biologically-rich forests and the need for urgent measures to halt this loss. We suggest that this study has practical implications for the monitoring and governance of state-managed forests in Arunachal Pradesh.