Toucan Barbet Semnornis ramphastinus


Justification of Red List category
The range of this species is moderately small and decreasing owing to habitat loss. Its population is also thought to be declining moderately rapidly owing to trapping and habitat loss. It is consequently classified as Near Threatened but could potentially be uplisted in the near future if illegal trade and habitat destruction continue uncontrolled.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to illegal trapping and habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Semnornis ramphastinus is uncommon to common on both slopes of the West Andes in south-west Colombia (Risaralda, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño) and north-west Ecuador at 1,000-2,400 m (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Sibley and Monroe 1990, Parker et al. 1996, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001, Cuervo et al. 2003). Surveys at La Planada Nature Reserve, Colombia, in the mid to late 1980s suggested an estimated world population of c.73,000 individuals (Restrepo and Mondragon 1987) and it was described as 'common to abundant' at Alto de Pisones, Risaralda, in 2000 (Cuervo et al. 2003).


It is found in the canopy of premontane to montane evergreen forest and edge but also occurs in dense second growth, overgrown pastures and dense growth with scattered trees around gardens. Fruits of Cecropia and Ficus are particularly important food resources (Freile and Chaves 2004).


It is trapped for the local and international cage-bird trade (Hilty and Brown 1986). There is low reproductive success owing to competition for nest-sites with, and predation of young by Plate-billed Mountain-toucan Andigena laminirostris (Restrepo and Mondragon 1987). Uncontrolled colonisation following the completion of roads and massive logging concessions have cleared or degraded over 40% of its Chocó forests, and deforestation is accelerating (Salaman 1994). Currently, intensive logging, human settlement, cattle grazing, mining and coca and palm cultivation pose threats to its remaining forests (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES III. Present in several protected areas including La Planada Nature Reserve, and Río Ñambi Natural Reserve, Colombia.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Control illegal trapping. Effectively protect and manage protected areas where the species occurs. Protect Alto de Pisones. Monitor population at strongholds and search for the species in potentially suitable habitat at new sites. Study its ecology and its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Use GIS habitat loss data to produce estimate of declines.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Semnornis ramphastinus. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/toucan-barbet-semnornis-ramphastinus on 23/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 23/09/2023.