Vanishing hornbills of Perak… Perak?


Hornbills are usually associated with Sarawak. But these majestic creatures have all but disappeared from their natural sanctuary in the Temenggor area in the southern part of Belum.

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The number of hornbills has reportedly plunged from 3000 in 2008 to 50 in 2009 and none was spotted last year in studies carried out by the Malaysian Nature Society.

MNS, Perak has expressed concern to the Perak state government.

How could this protected species be on the brink of extinction? Perhaps poaching.

If it’s poaching, are these really illegal poachers in the usual sense? The website has carried a couple of articles here and here pointing to a possible source of the problem.

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Bro Yusri

hutan hujan Belum masih terpelihara dengan baik buat masa ini …


“Borneo Island was at some very early stage joined to mainland Asia thru Peninsula”
So that the Hornbills could have walked all the way? I guess they probably don’t fly very far, and you’d need at least a pair to make the journey. I realise West and East Malaysia are very far apart, but there are plenty of islands around here – what is the longest distance a bird would have to fly, island to island, to get between W and E Malaysia – perhaps the ‘long way round’ via Indonesian islands?


Hmm …interesting. Hornbills in Perak!

It can only mean one thing … Borneo Island was at some very early stage joined to mainland Asia thru Peninsula… until the big land mass shift.

Then again, someone could have brought the birds over to Peninsula Malaysia.


The last time (2002) I went off road from Sungai Rui into the virgin rainforest, I was aghast by a sudden stretch of road (80 feet wide) in construction in the midst of the rainforest cutting across the jungle in never-ending views. Imagine how many thousands of valuable 100 years old trees and faunas lost just for this stretch of road out of nowhere! And the nearest salt lick for tigers, wild boars, deers and elephants was less than 100 metres away! Now this under used road is so quiet even though you get spectacular view of jungle foliage and… Read more »


Hornbills are common, even along the north south highway, up to about 10 years ago. I have pictures of the Helmeted Hornbill (probably the rarest hornbill in Malaysia) near Tasik Merah rest stop, feeding its brooding mate in a hollow trunk. Black Hornbills were so common around the (now built) Kota Damansara. They are gone now. No way you are going to get them back.


We ain’t seen nothing yet. The north-south highway, for one, opened up the southern corridor to many invasive species, especially birds. Notice the mynas you see around now have crests (when excited or calling). These are the highly invasive and pest Javan Mynas from Singapore and Johor. Most of the peninsula was host to the Common Myna, which had no crest. Common Myna has virtually disappeared. The hills south of Melaka and northern Johor was a natural barrier. The Berapit hills which forms part of the Keledang Range is also a natural barrier. The Marbled Pit Viper (commonly called Ular… Read more »


Dear Lord, I didn’t even know we had hornbills in Perak!

Andrew I

…following the advice of the crows.

Andrew I

Didn’t like the way the state administration was changed, so they migrated.


For any hungry soldier to survive in the jungle, he need not shoot the Hornbill as easy shooting target for easy food. What he needs to do is to trap other smaller ground animals or fish or search for root plants or fruits as survival food. That’s what he is trained for survival in the harsh jungle. What we are seeing is a bunch of half-past-six (survival trained?) soldiers … who are trigger happy to bring down a helpless endangered animal – the magnificent Rhinoceros Hornbill. Is this legalized poaching? If not forest rangers or soldiers, who is going to… Read more »


You are lucky to still have hornbills in Perak. I live in the “land of the hornbill” and I have never encounter one in the wild. Sad to say the first time I saw a hornbill was not in Swak but in the Spore bird park. There was a sign board saying “Gift from the people of Sarawak”. No idea if the bird or the sign still exist.

Kim Tai Hong

I think the bird has a higher chance of survival in the Jurong Bird Park than in the forest of Sarawak.


I was in Pangkor Laut recently. The hornbills native to the island were around all over the place. Unfortunately, they had become a bit domesticated.


That photo… Malaysia’s equivalent to “doing a Lynndie”?


Last year l saw three hornbills on the tree when l traveled to Kelantan along the Kulim-Grik Road(new road). But this year when l passed through the same stretch of road a few times, l did not see any hornbills. From my observation, this could be caused by the clearing of the jungle.