Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus


Justification of Red List Category
This species probably has a moderately small population, and is likely to have declined as a result of continuing habitat loss. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened, and should be carefully monitored for any future increases in the rate of decline.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified; it is considered rare to common throughout its range.

Trend justification
Data on trends are lacking, but a slow to moderate decline is suspected to be occurring, in line with habitat loss throughout the species's range.

Distribution and population

Anthracoceros coronatus is restricted to central and southern India (common in a few areas, but declining and confined to land under 300 m) and Sri Lanka (local and moderately plentiful, but now restricted to more secluded forest of the dry lowlands).


This species occurs in open moist broadleaved deciduous and evergreen forests, especially in hilly country and riverine areas (Mudappa and Raman 2009). It makes seasonal movements in response to fruiting events, and sometimes visits isolated fruiting trees in cultivated areas.


Forest on Sri Lanka has suffered rapid degradation and fragmentation in the past decades through excessive gathering of fuelwood, clearance for permanent agriculture, shifting cultivation, fire, urbanisation and logging. Closed-canopy forest is estimated to have declined from 29,000 km2 (44% of the island's area) in 1956 to 12,260 km2 in 1983, and similar losses are occurring in mainland India. It is reportedly collected for medicinal purposes in Orissa (del Hoyo et al. 2001). The proposed Athirapilly Dam poses a threat to the species in India's Western Ghats (Mudappa and Raman 2009).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Important populations exist in Mollem, Madei and Dandeli wildlife sanctuaries (Mudappa and Raman 2009).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor populations across its range to determine the magnitude of declines and rates of range contraction. Improve knowledge of its distribution (Mudappa and Raman 2009). Investigate the potential threat from hunting. Grant protection to areas of suitable habitat to safeguard against clearance and degradation. Raise awareness of the species and its status in any areas in which it is found to be hunted.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Khwaja, N., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Anthracoceros coronatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2022.