Luzon Hornbill Penelopides manillae


Justification of Red List category
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be common in primary forest (del Hoyo et al. 2001). On Polillo island, density estimates of the species were found to be 4.75 individuals/km2 in disturbed forest and 1.25 individuals/km2 in residual forests (Mamangun & Gonzalez 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline locally owing to ongoing habitat destruction and hunting for food and trade (del Hoyo et al. 2001). Due to online trade via social media, there has been an increase in local illegal hunting incidents (E.A. Lastica Ternura in litt. 2020), but the rate of decline has not been quantified.

Distribution and population

The species is endemic to the Philippines and found on Luzon, Polillo and adjacent islands.


The species mainly lives in primary rainforest and riverine forest areas, although one subspecies Penelopides manillae subnigra has been found to survive in secondary and agro-forests. They feed on 36 species of trees mainly Ficus spp, Artocarpus, Canarium spp, Listea sp, Cinanamomum sp, Dysoxylum spp, Syzygium spp, Cocos cumingii, Livistonia rotundifloriae, and Pinanga insignis. Besides plant matter, they also eat insects, lizards and eggs (Poonswad et al. 2013). 

Eggs are laid during the period of March-April, and incubation occurs for 28-31 days, followed by 50-65 days of fledging. About 2-3 eggs are laid every season. The female and chicks emerge together after the nesting period (Poonswad et al. 2013).


The species is sometimes opportunistically hunted for food. Sometimes skulls of Luzon tarictic hornbills are used to make traditional headdress by the Ifugao (Gonzalez 2011). Less than 10% of the species’ range is optimal habitat (Poonswad et al 2013). Forest clearance is also a major threat to the species. There has been a decreasing trend in the population of the species, but it has not been quantified.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix II. Tarictic festival was created to celebrate the Polillo tarictic hornbill. The hornbill is considered a municipal emblem and locals promote a ban on hunting and protect its habitat (Gonzalez 2011).


Text account compilers
Datta, A., Clark, J., Patil, I.

Lastica Ternura, E.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Penelopides manillae. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.