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Sulu Hornbill

Anthracoceros montani


The population of Sulu Hornbills is thought to be a shockingly small number of just 27 adults.

Historically, this species has been recorded on three Philippine islands: Jolo, Sanga Sanga and Tawi-tawi. Unfortunately, it is now thought to be locally extinct on two of these islands with recent records originating only from Tawi-tawi. Large swathes of forest on Tawi-tawi have been cut down to make way for palm oil and coconut plantations. Like most hornbills this species possesses a bony ‘casque’ which protrudes from the top of its bill. Despite its heavy-looking appearance this structure is quite light being made of thin, hollow bone cells. The Sulu Hornbill survives in isolated, continually degraded and fragmented patches of forest. Hunting pressure is thought to be on the increase, concentrated in these small remaining forest fragments. Only urgent conservation action and strict protection of habitat on Tawi-tawi can save this species from extinction.

  • Order: Bucerotiformes
  • Family: Bucerotidae
  • Population: 27
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 70 cm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.27 (?)
ED Score: 11.13 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


Endemic to the Philippines, specifically to the Sulu archipelago.

Habitat and Ecology

This species’ inhabits mid-montane primary forest, though this ‘preference’ may be forced due to the lack of lowland forest available on any of the islands. Incredibly little is known of the ecology of this species. The females require tall trees for nesting, and individuals have been observed visiting fruit-bearing trees over 1km form the site of primary forest.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Industrial development Habitat change Crops Wood plantations Livestock Hunting Logging

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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