Anthracoceros montani 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Bucerotiformes Bucerotidae

Scientific Name: Anthracoceros montani (Oustalet, 1880)
Common Name(s):
English Sulu Hornbill
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: c.70 cm. Blackish hornbill with wholly white tail. Black bill and casque, bare blackish skin around eye and small patches near bill-base. Glossy dark greenish upperparts. Iris cream-coloured in male and dark brown in female. Pale tip to casque-less bill in juvenile, and sometimes whitish-tipped primaries. Voice Series of loud cackling and shrieking calls.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i,ii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Allen, D. & Sarenas, I.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Lowen, J., Symes, A., Khwaja, N., Westrip, J.
This hornbill faces the possibility of imminent extinction. It has a tiny population probably now confined to just one island. It is likely to be declining very rapidly owing to the continuing loss and degradation of the few remaining forest tracts in its range, and levels of exploitation. For these reasons, it is listed as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to three islands in the Sulu archipelago in the Philippines. Described as common to abundant in the late 19th century, it has undergone a drastic decline, and persists with certainty only on Tawi-tawi. Recent evidence suggests that its population is extremely low, perhaps numbering fewer than 20 pairs in the main mountain range. During a visit in February and June 2009, four individuals were reported in contiguous areas over two days on Tawi-tawi (I. Sarenas in litt. 2010). An estimated 250-300 km2 of forest remained on Tawi-tawi in 2001, although much of this included selectively logged forest (Mallari et al. 2001), and further declines have been noted since. Fortunately, the rate of clearance for oil palm plantations is lower than was feared previously. The species is thought to be extinct on Jolo (Sulu), but this requires confirmation. It is almost certainly extinct on Sanga-sanga. Local reports from 1995 suggested that it may visit the small islands of Tandubatu, Dundangan and Baliungan, though these hold very little primary forest (D. Allen in litt. 2012) and are unlikely to sustain resident populations.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:400Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:780
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:2-5Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is estimated to number a minimum of 40 individuals, equivalent to 27 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  Described as common to abundant in the late 19th century, this species is suspected to have undergone a very rapid decline over the last ten years, and persists with certainty only on Tawi-tawi. Here, extremely rapid conversion of habitat to oil palm plantations was predicted to cause near-total forest loss, but to date these predictions have not been vindicated.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:27Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits primary dipterocarp forest, typically on mountain slopes (although this may simply reflect a constraint enforced by forest loss), occasionally visiting isolated fruiting trees over 1 km from the nearest forest. It requires large trees for nesting.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):9.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Jolo (Sulu) and Sanga-sanga have apparently been almost completely deforested. By the mid-1990s, rapid clearance of primary forest on Tawi-tawi had rendered remaining lowland patches highly degraded, although plans to replace these with oil-palm plantations seem to have stalled, while the rate of logging has slowed with the remainder of forest being confined to rugged mountainous areas. Conversion to rubber plantations and mining activities remain a threat to existing forest (D. Allen in litt. 2012, 2016). There have been examples of known sites being cleared for agriculture (I. Sarenas in litt. 2010). High gun ownership in the recent past may have resulted in it being shot for food and target practice. Young may continue to be harvested for food, and the species may be collected for trade. Hunting pressure on Tawi-tawi may well have increased in recent years (I. Sarenas in litt. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Military activity and insurgency continue to present a serious obstacle to conservation work in the Sulus. There are no formal protected areas in the archipelago. A proposal exists to provide conservation funding for the Tawi-tawi/Sulu Coastal Area, although neither the outcome nor the likely benefits to the species is known. A draft a municipal resolution for the banning of hunting or capture of Tawi-tawi endemics has been developed and was planned to be passed in July 2010 (I. Sarenas in litt. 2010).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in all remaining forest patches in the Sulus to identify key sites. Urgently establish formal protected areas in the centre-west of Tawi-tawi to conserve populations in the main mountain range. Clarify the proposal for conservation funding for the Tawi-tawi/Sulu Coastal Area. Continue and expand environmental awareness programmes and establish captive-breeding populations for future supplementation/reintroduction.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Added AOO value. Edited Threats Information text and added a threat. Also added a Facilitator/Compiler.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Anthracoceros montani (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22682447A117599120. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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