Sulawesi Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus

Sulawesi Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus

Sulawesi Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus



The Sulawesi Hornbill is threatened with habitat destruction, with forest on Sulawesi being lost at a rate of 16.9% per ten years during 1985-1997; and 36.1% per ten years during 1997-2001 (based on D. A. Holmes in litt. 1999 and Kinnaird and O’Brien 2007). The species’s specialised breeding requirements (including a dependence on large trees) makes them particularly vulnerable to forest loss and degradation (e.g. Winarni and Jones 2012). Hunting, both for food and for keeping as pets, is also a serious threat (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

IUCN red list

Sulawesi Hornbills are spectacular birds endemic to #Sulawesi #Indonesia, #vulnerable from #palmoil #deforestation #hunting and the #pettrade. Help them survive by joining the #Boycott4Wildlife on brands causing #deforestation

The Sulawesi Hornbill also known as the Sulawesi Tarictic Hornbill, Temminck’s hornbill or Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbill, is a relatively small, approximately 45 cm (18 in) long, black hornbill. The male has a yellow face and throat, and yellowish horn bill with black markings. The female has all-black plumage and a darker bill.

An Indonesian endemic, the Sulawesi Hornbill is distributed in the tropical lowland, swamps and primary forests of Sulawesi and nearby islands, from sea level to altitude up to 1,100 metres. There are two subspecies of the Sulawesi Hornbill. The nominate subspecies, P. e. exarhatus, occurs in north Sulawesi, and P. e. sanfordi is found in central, east and south Sulawesi, Buton and Muna Island.

The Sulawesi Hornbill is a social species that lives in groups of up to 20 individuals. This hornbill is believed that only the dominant pair breeds, while the remaining members of the group act as helpers. Their diet consists mainly of fruits, figs and insects. The female seals herself inside a tree hole to lay her eggs. During this time, the male and helpers provide food for the female and the young.

The species occurs in lowland primary forest, occasionally tall secondary forest, usually below 650 m asl but sometimes up to 1,100 m asl. Family groups sometimes in more open habitats (del Hoyo et al. 2001). Diet consists mainly of fruit (85%), also some small animals, mainly invertebrates. They often forage below the canopy. In Gorontalo, Sulawesi, the species has been observed foraging in primary and abandoned selectively logged forest, including those in fairly close proximity to human settlements (D. Mulyawati in litt. 2010). It requires large forest trees for breeding (del Hoyo et al. 2001, F. Lambert in litt. 2011), nesting in natural cavities or old woodpecker holes. Nests in some sites used by Knobbed Hornbill Aceros cassidix.

You can support this beautiful animal

There are no known conservation activities for this animal. Make art to raise awareness and join the #Boycott4Wildlife.

Further Information

IUCN Rating vulnerable

BirdLife International. 2017. Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22682504A117181682. Downloaded on 08 June 2021.


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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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