Storm's Stork Ciconia stormi


Justification of Red List Category
This stork is listed as Endangered because it has a very small, fragmented population which is very rapidly declining, owing to destruction of lowland forest through logging, dam construction and conversion to oil-palm plantations.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 150 individuals in Malaysia (Yeap Chin Aik in litt. 2002), and up to 250 individuals in Indonesia (M. Silvius in litt. 2002), totalling fewer than 500 individuals in total (Y. Noor Rusila in litt. 2002). The population size is likely to lie between 400-500 individuals, roughly equating to 260-330 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to have decreased very rapidly, in line with levels of forest loss and fragmentation, owing primarily to logging and conversion to oil-palm plantations.

Distribution and population

Ciconia stormi is known from extreme southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (Indonesia), and the island of Borneo, where it occurs in Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia), Brunei, and Kalimantan (Indonesia). It has been reduced to one tiny population and scattered individuals in Peninsular Malaysia, and was thought to be extinct in Thailand until an individual was camera trapped in the Klong Saeng-Khao Sok Forest Complex in April 2004 where a very small breeding population may remain (Cutter et al. 2007). An important breeding population comprising at least 43 individuals was identified in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sabah in 1999-2000 (Abidin ben Ja'afar et al. 2001). The species was also recently recorded at Ulu Segama and photographed in Malua Forest Reserve, Sabah (A. J. Hearn in litt. 2008). The core of the remaining population is in Sumatra (including on Siberut [Verbelen 2010]), Kalimantan and Brunei, where it still appears to be widespread, but rare. Overall, the population is now estimated to number 260-330 mature individuals.


It occurs at low densities in large, undisturbed blocks of level lowland forest, particularly freshwater and peat-swamp forests, on the floodplains of large rivers. It also frequents disturbed, recently burned and logged areas, and occasionally areas subject to tidal movements, although these may constitute suboptimal habitats. It is generally solitary, but is occasionally found in small groups. Two eggs are usually laid and the chicks are able to fly after c.90 days.


The main threats are forest loss and fragmentation as a result of logging and dam construction and conversion to oil-palm plantations (Kalimantan lost nearly 25% of its evergreen forest during 1985-1997, and Sumatra lost almost 30% of its 1985 cover), combined with associated increases in disturbance. The impact of the major fires of 1997-1998 on Sumatra and Borneo is still unclear, but they are likely to have been significant. The development of lowland rivers as major transport routes is presumably a considerable threat. Incidental hunting and trade are minor threats.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It is legally protected in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It has been recorded in numerous protected areas, including at least five (and one proposed) in Kalimantan, at least four (and a further four proposed) on Sumatra (including Way Kambas) and up to five (including Taman Negara, Lower Kinabatangan and Malua Forest Reserve [A. J. Hearn in litt. 2008]) in Malaysia. A small-scale nest protection scheme and awareness campaign is ongoing in West Kalimantan including compensation payments to poachers for nest protection, allowing at least four chicks to fledge between 2009-11 (Widmann et al. 2010, P. Widmann in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue further surveys to determine its distribution, population and habitat requirements, particularly in Kalimantan (e.g. Cheyne et al. 2014). Establish further protected areas at sites supporting significant populations, including gazetting proposed reserves, particularly on Sumatra. Lobby for the cessation of logging in swamp-forests. Improve effectiveness of protection measures in protected areas in Indonesia.


75-91 cm. Secretive, black-and-white stork with red bill, orange facial skin and golden-yellow area around eye. Black lower foreneck. Juvenile has dark plumage parts somewhat browner than adult, dark-tipped bill and duller bare parts. Similar spp. Woolly-necked Stork C. episcopus has white lower foreneck, dark bill and bronze coloration on inner wing-coverts.


Text account compilers
Taylor, J., Bird, J., Martin, R, Westrip, J., Pilgrim, J., Benstead, P.

Hutchinson, R., van Balen, B., Hearn, A., Davidson, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ciconia stormi. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/storms-stork-ciconia-stormi on 08/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 08/06/2023.