Bornean Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx radiceus


Justification of Red List Category
This forest-dependent species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline owing to the extensive loss of lowland forests on Borneo. It is not considered more threatened because it can use secondary habitats.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as rare (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Trend justification
This lowland forest specialist has almost certainly declined owing to the extensive loss and degradation of lowland forest within its range in the past decade. However, swamp and alluvial forest, which it favours, were not as badly affected by forest fires as other habitat types, and it has been recorded in secondary growth; hence declines are not thought to have been more than moderately rapid.

Distribution and population

Carpococcyx radiceus, treated separately from the threatened Sumatran Ground-cuckoo C. viridis, is endemic to the island of Borneo (Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia, and Kalimantan, Indonesia) (BirdLife International 2001), where it is known from at least 49 localities (Long and Collar 2002). This cuckoo is widely regarded as scarce to very rare, but has proved to be widespread and more common in several areas (including secondary habitats and lower hill country) than was previously realised (e.g. Long and Collar 2002). Nevertheless, the most extensive study to date researched the species's ecological and conservation requirements in Sungai Wain Protection Forest, east Kalimantan and obtained just 32 encounters in 44 months of survey effort (Fredriksson and Nijman 2004). Its preference for lowland forest suggests that the species has declined. In 2004, it was known from just nine locations, mostly from single contacts (Fredriksson and Nijman 2004).


This species clearly favours primary forest, probably preferring level areas near rivers (Long and Collar 2002). It shows a clear preference for alluvial and swamp forest within dry dipterocarp lowland forest below 500 m, over higher elevation, slope or ridge forest. It inhabits the forest floor, feeding on arthropods and fruit, and sometimes following army-ant swarms, bearded pigs Sus barbatus and sun bears Helarctos malayanus (BirdLife International 2001, Long and Collar 2002).


Lowland forests in Borneo have been dramatically reduced in extent and quality by human activities such as logging and plantation agriculture, but particularly by uncontrolled forest fires; four years after fires at one site that supports this species, 74% of trees were dead. It is generally regarded as inedible and is not trapped.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs within a number of protected areas on Borneo and was studied within Sungai Wain protected Forest where patrol teams have controlled hunting pressure, stopped illegal logging and maintained fire breaks. Education work is carried out in the local community.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Expand conservation actions that have been introduced successfully at Sungai Wain Protected Forest to other forest areas. Combat forest fires in the future. Generate a density estimate for the species by surveying using playback, and estimate its global population size. Monitor rates of habitat loss.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Taylor, J. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Carpococcyx radiceus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/11/2019.