Coral-billed Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx renauldi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is affected by a rapid increase in the level of hunting throughout its range. Together with a reduction in the extent and quality of forested habitat within the range, this has led to an accelerating rate of population decline, which is projected to continue. The species is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be uncommon (del Hoyo et al. 1997).

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be in decline owing to increasing hunting pressure and habitat loss. Although its secretive ground-dwelling lifestyle makes it difficult to find and it may be under-recorded, the increasing threat from hunters using cable-snaring suggests likely that the species is genuinely very rare and decreasing. The rate of decline has not been estimated and likely differs between countries. Therefore, it is precautionarily placed in the band 30-49% over three generations (13 years).

While the species is still abundant in protected areas in Cambodia (D.L. Yong and S. Mahood in litt. 2018), in the northern part of the country it is suspected to be rare and declining (S. Mahood in litt. 2016). In the Cardamom Mountains in the south of the country, the amount of habitat remains large and must have held a large population. However, the level of snaring is increasing in the lower areas of the Cardamoms, and recent camera-trap surveys failed to detect the species (Gray et al. 2017). Yet, it is likely that larger populations may remain in the more remote and less accessible areas of the mountains (T. Gray in litt. 2018). In Laos and Vietnam, the species used to be abundant in the 1990s (J.W. Duckworth in litt. 2018). Following the tremendous increase in industrial drift-fence cable snaring since then, it has been suggested that rates of decline over the past three generations in those countries may have exceeded 80% (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2016, 2018).

The population in Thailand is assumed to be large and likely stable. It continues to be regularly recorded within Khao Yai National Park in the south of the country, but recent records from outside protected areas are sparse. The extent of cable-snaring in Thailand is significantly lower than in the other three countries (J. W. Duckworth in litt. 2018).

Distribution and population

The species restricted to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Throughout most of its range (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam), the population is likely small and extremely patchily distributed as a consequence of population declines caused by increased levels of hunting. Only in Thailand, the species continues to be regularly recorded in the south of the country.


The species occupies the lower and middle strata of lowland forest, scrub and second growth with dense vegetation cover, ranging from sea level to 900 m and exceptionally 1,500 m (Payne and de Juana 2018). The species is mainly terrestrial, but places its nest in trees (Payne and de Juana 2018).


The species is heavily threatened by the rapid expansion of industrial drift-fence cable snaring, which is taking place since the early 2000s. Snaring is particularly affecting parts of the species's range in Vietnam, Laos and, to a slightly lesser extent, Cambodia. Especially lowland forests are regularly frequented by hunters (Gray et al. 2017). While the species is targeted directly by hunters for its meat and for the cagebird trade, it is also taken as a 'bycatch' in snares set out for ungulates (Grey et al. 2018). In addition to the threat from snaring, the species may also have been affected by the reduction in large mammal and primate populations, as it apparently forages in areas disturbed by these animals (S. Mahood in litt. 2016). Moreover, forest loss is impacting the species. Whilst it occasionally ranges into selectively logged and secondary forest, it is absent from heavily logged areas (Payne and de Juana 2018).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in several protected areas throughout its range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat throughout its range to clarify its current distribution and assess its abundance. Regularly monitor the population to assess the population trend. Promote strict enforcement of hunting regulations, in combination with locally-targeted conservation awareness initiatives.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Martin, R., Hermes, C., Butchart, S.

Gray, T.N.E., Yong, D., Mahood, S., Duckworth, J.W.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Carpococcyx renauldi. Downloaded from on 28/09/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/09/2020.