Justification of Red List category
The area of forest within this species's range has undergone a rapid rate of decline over recent years, which is thought to be continuing. The species is also threatened by hunting. Its population size is therefore suspected to undergo a large reduction over the next three generations. For this reason it is listed as Endangered.
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it has been described as generally uncommon.
An analysis of forest loss from 2000-2012 estimated forest loss within the species's range at a rate equivalent to 49.6% across three generation lengths (57 years) (Tracewski et al. 2016). Whilst the species may be tolerant of some habitat degradation, it is also threatened by hunting, and its rate of population decline is thus likely to fall in the band 50-79% across three generations. Since this species has a long generation length, with three generations stretching over 57 years, we have insufficient evidence to calculate the magnitude of reduction over the past three generations. Assuming the recent rate of decline remains constant, the species is projected to decline by 50-79% over the next three generations.
This species is confined to the Sundaic lowlands of south Tenasserim, Myanmar, peninsular and south-west Thailand, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia and Brunei, where it is generally uncommon (but possibly overlooked owing to its unobtrusive habits) (BirdLife International 2001). An analysis of forest loss from 2000-2012 estimated forest loss within the species's range at a rate equivalent to 49.6% across three generation lengths (Tracewski et al. 2016). The rate of population decline is suspected to be greater than this because the species is also threatened by hunting.
This species occurs in primary semi-evergreen and evergreen forests from sea level to 1,675 m, but usually below 600 m. It may also occupy secondary woodland and plantations in areas with adjacent primary forest. As such, areas of suitable habitat for this species extend beyond protected areas, whereas the habitat of many other hornbill species has become restricted to protected areas (Trisurat et al. 2013).
Rates of forest loss in the lowlands of Indonesia have been extremely rapid, owing partly to the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion, with deliberate targeting of all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas. Forest fires have also had a damaging effect. The magnitude of these threats could have been allayed by this species's tolerance of hill forest, which is under less pressure from logging and agricultural conversion. An analysis of forest loss from 2000-2012 estimated forest loss within the species's range at a rate equivalent to 49.6% across three generation lengths (Tracewski et al. 2016). The species is also threatened by hunting and may be taken as 'bycatch' by hunters targeting Helmeted Hornbill Rhinoplax vigil (D. L. Yong in litt. 2018).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES II listed.
Text account compilers
Westrip, J., Benstead, P., Wheatley, H., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Berenicornis comatus. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/white-crowned-hornbill-berenicornis-comatus on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 26/02/2024.