Hornbills, as well as other small mammals, are native to parts of Western Australia and New South Wales, but they have been recorded as far north as the Rocky Mountains in Canada and as far south as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
In recent years, however, there has been a rise in reports of hornbill deaths in Australia’s backyard.
A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that there are no obvious signs of a disease or parasite, and the hornbill does not appear to be suffering from any specific stressor.
“This suggests that hornbills are not particularly susceptible to parasites or diseases,” said lead author Dr Rianne Horsfall, from the University of New South Zealand.
Hornbills and other small animals are important to the environment because they are a food source for birds and other animals, and they are often found in disturbed areas, especially on rocky outcrops.
The animals are known to burrow into cracks and crevices to lay eggs, and are particularly well adapted to areas where water has been disturbed or flooded, because they can tolerate water that has been very salty.
But the authors of the study also said that it was not yet clear what caused hornbill mortality, and it was unclear how it would affect the health of other animals.
“We don’t know if hornbums will survive the impact of stress on their environment,” said Dr Horsdale.
However, she said the results suggested that the hornbilly could be in a state of near-death, and that it could take a while for the species to recover from that condition.
“The reason this is so worrying is that we know that hornbill populations are declining all over the world.
So we know there is a trend to see hornbilled populations fall, and we also know that a lot of wildlife populations are suffering from similar conditions,” she said.”
If these hornbill populations are in decline, we need to look at how that will affect other species as well.”