RSPN having been working closely with local communities to help monitor the species for many years, meaning that the profile of WBH is higher here than in most countries. Celebrations and Bird Festivals are held which emphasise the importance of the species, alongside the production of White-bellied Heron postage stamps and billboards.
Recently the government of Bhutan signed an agreement with RSPN so they are now working closely together on conservation activities.
Since the tagging of two young herons with leg bands in early 2016, local people have reported sighting the youngsters.
Synchronicity Earth funding enabled the Southwest Forestry University to run awareness raising workshops so that the species has a greater chance of being identified in China.
Atree, Nature’s Foster and UNCF have worked to raise the profile of White-bellied Heron with local communities in Assam, thanks to the support of the Save Our Species fund. They continue to develop their work on ‘Heron Guardians’ within the local communities, advocating for “No Go Zones” in areas thought to be used by White-bellied Heron. Other awareness raising activities undertaken by the group have included theming Wildlife Week around White-bellied Heron, increasing knowledge and awareness of the species with NGO forest protection cadres and hosting of awareness meetings in surrounding villages.
More work is needed to help local people understand the importance of White-bellied Heron and the threats to the species. Local attitudes have previously been informally assessed but there are no known attempts to improve attitudes toward the species.