About the Hornbills

in Trade Database

The Hornbills in Trade Database (HiTDB) is an open-source repository of data concerning the national and international commercial trade of hornbills. Beyond offering users an overview of the hornbill species and products in trade, it assesses the conservation impacts of such activities across the various taxa. The HiTDB is updated on a regular basis to ensure the most current and comprehensive dataset available.


Illegal and unsustainable commercial exploitation negatively impacts many bird species worldwide. In addition to population declines, trade may lead to species invasions, the spread of zoonotic disease and diminished local livelihoods. Although trade in songbirds and parrots is well-known, hornbills (Bucerotiformes) are an often-overlooked bird order. Hornbills and their derivatives are traded for a variety of purposes, including as pets, for their meat, and for use as ornaments and jewellery.

A better comprehension of the domestic and international hornbill trade is of great importance. It serves as a vital tool for raising awareness about conservation issues, guiding the development of effective policies and enforcement measures, and catalyzing initiatives aimed at safeguarding these remarkable birds. The primary aim of the HiTDB is to provide an accessible platform offering insight into our current understanding of the hornbill trade. Users can use the freely available data to identify areas where knowledge is lacking, inform conservation efforts and policy reforms, and actively contribute to a sustainable future for hornbills.


The HiTDB aggregates information from a diverse range of sources, encompassing peer-reviewed scientific literature, trade-related notes (both published and unpublished) contributed by experts in ornithology, aviculture, and conservation, expert opinions, and direct field observations made by members of the HiTDB Core Team. The HiTDB exclusively contains records of hornbill trade and their derivatives from 2006 onwards. For additional information and an overview of the HiTDB’s methodology, please refer to the metadata. The HiTDB is supervised by Simon Bruslund, Head of Conservation at Copenhagen Zoo, and hosted by the Monitor Conservation Research Society.



How to cite the HiTDB

When referencing the HiTDB in your work, please use the following suggested citations:

General citation: Bruslund, S. et al. (year). Hornbills in Trade Database (version 1.0). Monitor Conservation Research Society. Accessed on [date] at https://www.hitdb.org/.

Individual species citation: Bruslund, S. et al. (year). [species scientific name] in Hornbills in Trade Database (version 1.0). Monitor Conservation Research Society. Accessed on [date] at https://www.hitdb.org/.


Trade threat assessments in the HiTDB are executed by the HiTDB Core Team and are based on data gathered from the sources mentioned in the methodology and metadata. These assessments should be interpreted as expert opinion. 

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information presented, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the accuracy, suitability, or availability with respect to the HiTDB website or the data contained herein.

Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We shall not be liable for any loss or damage, including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising from the use of, or inability to use, the data on the HiTDB website.

The data on the HiTDB website might be subject to change without notice. We do not guarantee that the website will always be available or that access will be uninterrupted. We also reserve the right to modify, update, or remove the data without prior notice.

Links to external websites or resources are provided for your convenience and do not imply endorsement or approval of the content on those sites. We have no control over the nature, content, and availability of external sites.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any data obtained from the HiTDB website meets your specific requirements. You should verify the accuracy and reliability of the data before making any decisions or taking any actions based on it.

By using the HiTDB website, you agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. You also acknowledge that any unauthorized use of the website or its data may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offense.

We reserve the right to update or modify this disclaimer at any time without prior notice. It is recommended that you review this disclaimer periodically to stay informed about any changes.

Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction where you access the website.

If you have any questions or concerns about this disclaimer or the use of data on the HiTDB website, please contact us here or directly at info@hitdb.org.

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