Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are 20 protected areas in the Barisan Mountains, some of which lie within the current known range of this species. The recent records come from Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and near Kerinci Seblat National Park. Also, one specimen was collected from within, or close to Kerinci Seblat National Park. Survey effort is likely to increase following the recent recording of its call: knowledge of ground-cuckoo calls has facilitated study of two other Asian species in the past. Efforts to protect habitat and promote tourism are being developed.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Choose potential survey areas by identifying remaining habitat tracts in the Barisan Mountains, particularly near historical localities, and conducting village interviews. Conduct extensive surveys (utilising recent recordings of the species's call) to establish its true range, current distribution and population, and assess its habitat requirements, threats and conservation needs. Following surveys, review whether key populations are adequately represented within the existing protected-area network, and if not, advocate establishment of further strategic protected areas. Afford the species full protection under Indonesian law.

Location Information

This species is endemic to the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, where it is only known from eight specimens and a recent series of sightings, the majority of which have come from the Barisan Mountains in the southern half of the island (BirdLife International 2001). Unrecorded since 1916, an individual was trapped and photographed in November 1997 at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBS) (at 500 m) (Zetra et al. 2002). Subsequent records comprise an unconfirmed sighting in 2000 in the Bukit Rimbang-Baling Wildlife Sanctuary from an area of hilly, open secondary forest with dense undergrowth at 700m (Zetra et al. 2002), a bird photographed by a camera-trap near Kerinci Seblat National Park in 2006 (Anon 2006, Dinata et al. 2008) and a bird caught and brought to conservationists in BBS in 2007 (N. Brickle in litt. 2007, 2008, 2010). Up to five birds have since been seen and heard in the wild near the site of the original trapped bird in BBS; at Way Titias, near Liwa, in central BBS, and another heard calling, and reported by hunters, in an area north of BBS (N. Brickle in litt. 2007, 2008, 2010). Very little is known about its population status. Its close relative, the Bornean Ground-cuckoo C. radiatus, is unobtrusive, which may partly account for the lack of records. However, it seems likely that it is rare and locally distributed.

Geographic Range



Population Information

The population is estimated to number 50-249 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.


Deforestation has been extensive on Sumatra and this is probably the main threat. At least two-thirds to four-fifths of original lowland forest cover and at least one-third of montane forest have been lost, primarily to agricultural encroachment by shifting cultivators, which is currently affecting large areas of lower montane forest, even within protected areas. At the type locality, Gunung Singgalang, forest had been cleared up to 1,800-1,900 m as early as 1917. In addition, being a ground-forager, it is possibly susceptible to bycatch through hunting by use of snares: a recent record was obtained when a bird was captured by a hunter, almost certainly in a snare set for Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus (N. Brickle in litt. 2007, 2008, 2010).


IUCN Red List Account Link

Please click here to see the species' IUCN Red List Account page.

Photo Credits

Nick Brickle (category image)