Buceros bicornis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Buceros bicornis
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name(s):
English Great Hornbill

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Bishop, K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.
Although this species has a large range, it occurs at low densities and is patchily distributed. It may have a moderately small population and is likely to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range; it is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Buceros bicornis has a wide distribution, occurring in China (rare resident in west and south-west Yunnan and south-east Tibet), India (locally fairly common, but declining), Nepal (local and uncommon, largely in protected areas), Bhutan (fairly common), Bangladesh (vagrant), Myanmar (scarce to locally common resident throughout), Thailand (widespread, generally scarce but locally common), Laos (formerly common; currently widespread but scarce and a major decline has clearly occurred), Vietnam (rare and declining resident), Cambodia (rare), peninsular Malaysia (uncommon to more or less common) and Indonesia: the species is now uncommon on Sumatra where it has shown a significant decline following recent devastation of the island's lowland forest (K. D. Bishop in litt. 2012).

Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population has been estimated to number 3,500 individuals in west India. This only constitutes 5-24% of the species's range, so a very preliminary estimate of the total population is 10,000-70,000 individuals. It is probably best placed in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species frequents wet evergreen and mixed deciduous forests, ranging out into open deciduous areas to visit fruit trees and ascending slopes to at least 1,560 m (Mudappa and Raman 2009). The abundance of this species tends to be correlated with the density of large trees, and it is therefore most common in unlogged forest; indeed, recent work has shown a significant nesting preference for larger trees, usually in old-growth forest (James and Kannan 2009).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging is likely to have impacted on this species throughout its range, particularly as it shows a preference for forest areas with large trees that may be targeted by loggers. Forest clearance for agriculture is also likely to have contributed to declines. It is particularly susceptible to hunting pressure as it is large and visits predictable feeding sites (such as fruiting trees), and its casques are kept or sold as trophies. It is also probably impacted by the pet trade (Eames 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. The species is captively bred in zoos (Jensen 2008). It occurs in protected areas including Anamalai Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghats, India (Mudappa and Raman 2009).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations across its range to determine the magnitude of declines and rates of range contraction. Campaign for the protection of remaining extensive tracts of lowland forest throughout its range.  Develop the existing captive breeding population to support future reintroduction and supplementation efforts.

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Buceros bicornis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided