Malabar Gray Hornbill Ocyceros griseus

Divya Mudappa and T. R. Shankar Raman
Version: 2.0 — Published July 9, 2020

Conservation and Management

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Conservation Status

Restricted-range species, present in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area. The Malabar Gray Hornbill was reported to be declining in the northern part of the range and recent estimates suggest both range-wide and local population declines (see Population Status, 18). Generally vulnerable to loss and degradation of forest throughout the Western Ghats. Locally common, including in some protected wildlife reserves, and occurs also in some large sacred groves, forest fragments, and agroforests with fruiting trees such as figs. The species gained protection as an endangered species under Schedule I of India's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Currently listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (37), the species has been recommended to be listed as Vulnerable.

Effects of Human Activity

Large trees for nesting and diverse native species that provide year-round fruit resources are crucial . A range of human activities negatively affect hornbills: logging, mining, hydro-power projects, poaching, habitat alteration to monoculture plantations, firewood collection leading to forest degradation, and nest tree loss due to fire, linear intrusions, and use of heavy machinery. Forest fragmentation leading to shrinkage of habitat and loss of food tree diversity also affects the species (17).


Protection of nest trees and other large trees and the restoration of forests with a high diversity of native species, including species whose fruits are eaten by the hornbills, will aid in their future survival.

Recommended Citation

Mudappa, D. and T. R. S. Raman (2020). Malabar Gray Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.maghor2.02