Malay Brown Barbet Caloramphus hayii


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species is tolerant of habitat modification, but forest loss has been extensive across much of its range. It is therefore suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid ongoing population decline and has been classified as Near Threatened, however if the rate of population decline is found to be less rapid it may warrant downlisting to Least Concern in the future.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be fairly common to common in most of its range (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

Trend justification
Rates of forest loss between 2000 and 2010 have been estimated at 23.7% for Sumatra and 8.2% for Peninsular Malaysia (Miettinen et al. 2011), and data in Margono et al. (2012) suggest that primary forest on Sumatra was lost at a rate of c.36% over 20 years. Given the estimated three-generation trend period of c.26 years for this species, it is thought likely that it is undergoing moderately rapid population declines (approaching 30% over three generations) despite its tolerance of habitat modification.

Distribution and population

C. hayii is found from southernmost Tenasserim, Myanmar (where it is rare); south Thailand from about 10o 30' N (including Phuket); peninsula Malaysia; and Sumatra, Indonesia (Short and Horne 2001, del Hoyo et al. 2002). Formerly occurred in Singapore (Short and Horne 2001).


A barbet inhabiting lowland primary forest and lower hill forest, swamp forest and also in human-modified habitats such as cacao plantations, scrub forest and isolated fruiting trees in cut-over forest (Short and Horne 2001). The species primarily eats fruit, but also takes insects including foraging in arboreal ant and termite nests (Short and Horne 2001). Often 2-3 pairs nest in the same tree stump; cavities are excavated in both living and dead trees and stumps (Short and Horne 2001).


It appears relatively insensitive to selective logging, and can remain relatively common even recently logged forests (e.g. Panti forest reserve, Johor) or 20-year old logged forests in Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu (D. L. Yong in litt. 2014). Elsewhere in Peninsular Malaysia, Peh et al. (2005, 2006) also found the species in rubber plantations, mixed agriculture landscapes and secondary forests. Nevertheless, it presumably occurs at lower densities in logged forest, and the extensive habitat conversion and degradation that have taken place throughout its range (in particular for logging and conversion for oil palm) must be driving declines.

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
No targeted actions are known, but the species presumably occurs in a number of protected areas.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Determine its precise ecological requirements and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Ensure the effective protection of existing protected areas in which it occurs.


17.5cm. A relatively small, brown barbet with a heavy bill and short tail. The throat and breast are buffy with a slight yellow tinge from breast to belly, with the lower belly and vent white. The bill is black in the male and horn-brown in the female. Similar spp. C. fuliginosus has rufous tones on the throat and breast. Voice. Noisy, sibilant pseeee calls given in series frequently as groups forage together.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Yong, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Caloramphus hayii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019.