Death By Beauty casques, poachers, traffickers
Helmeted hornbills are being poached for their casques. The casque is the tough "helmet" above their beak. Its softer than ivory and can be carved. And, now that elephant ivory is becoming more difficult to obtain, these birds now find themselves in peril. Carving these casques has been an art form for over 2000 years, but now there is high demand for ivory carvings in China and other Asian countries. With more demand, illegal networks are on the rise providing locals (who can often become poachers ), with rifles with silencers, disposable cell phones (to avoid detection), and a trafficking network that will buy their catch. Unfortunately hornbills lay only 1 to 2 eggs at a time and usually only once a year.