Papuan Wreathed Hornbill (Aceros plicatus)



Other common names include: Blyth's hornbill and Plicated hornbill. Kemp (1995) notes that the Plain-pouched wreathed hornbill, Aceros subruficollis was once considered conspecific with plicatus. . There is uncertainty about the species identification of a few of the older records in the North American regional studbook. Five specimens were recorded as A. plicatus subruficollis. Kemp does not recognize this subspecies. It is unclear whether they were A. plicatus or A. subruficollis. These birds (studbook #1-5) did not reproduce, and have all died.

Range, habitat, and status

Kemp (1995) describes 6 subspecies but suggests that they might be one species representing a cline. This species ranges in eastern Indonesia, Papuan New Guinea, and Solomon Islands in primary and secondary forests below 1500 meters. This species is hunted for food and trophies. They are reported to be common in the western part of the range and more vulnerable in the eastern region. Kinnaird and O'Brien (pers. comm.) have recently completed a survey at seven sites on the island of Seram in the North Molluccus. Their preliminary estimates reveal a high hornbill density of 30 birds/sq. km. They note that abundance is most strongly correlated with the density of nesting trees and the density of adult strangler figs.

Captive propagation

Euing (1995) wrote about the breeding of Aceros plicatus jungei at the San Diego Zoo. As these birds were collected in Papua New Guinea, they are identified to subspecies (pers. comm: D. Rimlinger). The other A. plicatus in captivity can not be accurately listed to subspecies. Macek (1998) wrote a short note about the most recent breeding success at St. Louis Zoo. In 1999, a female hatched from the pair at San Diego Zoo and a male hatched at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Unfortunately the male breeder died at the Wild Animal Park in 1999. In 2000, a chick hatched out at the San Diego Zoo but did not survive.

In 1999, Irena Pavlin from Ljubljana Zoo in Slovenia published the first edition of the European regional studbook for this species.