Bycanistes cylindricus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Bycanistes cylindricus
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1824)
Common Name(s):
English Brown-cheeked Hornbill
Ceratogymna cylindricus cylindricus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)
Ceratogymna cylindricus cylindricus Collar et al. (1994)
Ceratogymna cylindricus cylindricus BirdLife International (2000)
Taxonomic Notes: Bycanistes cylindricus and B. albotibialis (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as separate species contra Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) who include B. albotibialis as a subspecies of B. cylindricus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd+3cd+4cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Hall, P., Lindsell, J. & Rainey, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Taylor, J.
This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because it is suspected to be undergoing a rapid population decline owing to the impacts of habitat destruction and degradation, and hunting pressure.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Bycanistes cylindricus is restricted to the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa, where it is found in southern Guinea, Sierra Leone (including Loma Mountains, Western Area Peninsula Forest, Kangri Hills and Gola Forest [Okoni-Williams 2001]), Liberia, southern Côte d'Ivoire (where it remains abundant in Taï National Park and periphery habitat [Gartshore et al. 1995, H. Rainey in litt. 2007]), south-west Ghana (where recently observed only once during surveys of Draw River, Boi-Tano and Krokasua Foret Reserves [H. Rainey in litt. 2007]) and Togo (Kemp 1995; although this single record may be best considered unconfirmed [F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012]). Its local status varies from uncommon to common (Nash 1990a, Gartshore et al. 1995, Gatter 1997). Recent observations suggest that the species is in rapid decline. It has been extirpated from Bia National Park (NP) in Ghana, where there have been no records since 1991 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2011). Several hunters interviewed by Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett (2009) in Ghana have said that B. cylindricus has become rare or difficult to find and the species may now be extinct at Fure Headwaters. It may also have disappeared from Opro River Forest Reserve (FR) (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2010). Surveys at three forest reserves in Ghana (Draw River, Bio-Tano and Krokosua) in 2003 suggested that hornbills were in decline owing to habitat fragmentation and hunting (H. Rainey in litt. 2011). Observations of hornbill abundance in the forests of West Africa should be interpreted with regard to these species' movements, probably related to fruit abundance (e.g. H. Rainey in litt. 2011).

Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone; Togo
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has not been quantified.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a species of primary and mature secondary forest (Thiollay 1985a). It has been found in very disturbed forest in Mt Peko National Park, Côte d'Ivoire (H. Rainey in litt. 1999), but generally prefers undisturbed forest (Holbech 1992, 1996). It is also found in plantations, and has been found to be more common in these sites than other hornbill species (Gartshore et al. 1995), but it is not known whether these represent viable breeding populations. As with other large hornbills, it is probably dependent on the presence of large emergent trees and dead standing trees for nest sites (Gartshore et al. 1995). It forages on fruit in the canopy and will also take insects on the wing (Fry et al. 1988). Local populations in Cameroon fluctuate 12-fold and in synchrony, suggesting regional movements to track fruit availability (del Hoyo et al. 2001). It is described as sedentary in Gabon and nomadic during the non-breeding season in Liberia and Uganda. In Liberia, egg-laying probably takes place in September-November, but this may occur in January-April, June-August or October-December elsewhere. It nests in natural tree cavities 20-25 m from the ground. The species appears not to breed every year (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by the destruction and fragmentation of forest throughout its range (H. Rainey in litt. 1999, del Hoyo et al. 2001). This species is often the first large hornbill to disappear following selective logging (Gatter 1997). Although hornbills can travel many kilometres in a single day in search of fruiting trees, the increasing fragmentation of the Upper Guinea forest is likely to have affected populations, particularly as fragmentation is on-going and large fragments are becoming increasingly isolated (H. Rainey in litt. 2011). Forest is being lost in some protected areas, for example most forest has now been lost from Déré Foret Classée in Guinea (H. Rainey in litt. 2012). Deforestation in the region is driven by logging for timber, agricultural expansion and development, with some of the highest pressures on forest habitats occurring in Liberia (H. Rainey in litt. 2011), where there are plans to convert large areas of primary forest to oil-palm plantations (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). Much forest in Opro River FR, Ghana, has been replaced with teak plantations, whilst forest at Amama Shelterbelt FR has been cleared for gardens and plantations (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). Hunting is a significant threat both within and outside protected areas (H. Rainey in litt. 1999, 2011; F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). Hunting pressure has led to its extirpation from Bia National Park (NP), where there have been no records since 1991 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2011), although it persists at a number of other sites, including small numbers at Atewa Range FR and Tano Ofin FR, despite high hunting pressure at these locations (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in a number of protected areas, including Maraoué National Park (del Hoyo et al. 2001), Taï National Park (Gartshore et al. 1995, del Hoyo et al. 2001) and Gola Forest (Okoni-Williams 2001).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys across the species's range to obtain a total population estimate. Track population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across the species's range. Carry out research into levels of hunting. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Bycanistes cylindricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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