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Data from: A conservation status survey of hornbills (Bucerotidae) in the Western Ghats, India

Cite this dataset

Mudappa, Divya; Raman, T. R. Shankar (2020). Data from: A conservation status survey of hornbills (Bucerotidae) in the Western Ghats, India [Dataset]. Dryad.


The Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, which is likely to impact large-bodied, wide-ranging species with specialised requirements such as hornbills. In this survey along the Western Ghats, we surveyed for four hornbill species that occur here: Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus, and Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris (endemic to South Asia), Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus (endemic to the Western Ghats), and the Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis. We visited 45 localities across five states: Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. These included 26 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 national parks, 13 reserved forests, and one plantation landscape. Across sites, we walked 80 transect surveys totalling a length of 286.4 km. In all, 631 individual hornbills (412 detections) were recorded across 35 localities. The Malabar Grey Hornbill was most frequently detected, and widely-distributed, followed by the Great, and Malabar Pied hornbills. The Indian Grey Hornbill, more widespread across India, was seen in only two locations in this survey. Hornbill encounter was up to five times higher in moist, and wet forests as compared to dry forest types. Based on hornbill distribution and protected areas, five important hornbill conservation landscapes were identified in the Western Ghats (Amboli–Goa–Dandeli, Anamalai–Parambikulam–Vazhachal, Nilgiris– Wayanad, Someshwara–Sharavati–Mookambika, Neyyar–Peppara–KMTR, and Periyar) along with key reserved forests (Kottiyoor, New Amarambalam, Vazhachal, Nelliampathy, Goodarickal, Kulathupuzha–Palode). Hornbill densities were estimated in two of the above landscapes, and are provided as a baseline. We highlight some key considerations for hornbill research and conservation, and future needs.

Usage notes


Rufford Foundation


Western Ghats
Tamil Nadu