Two young Southern ground hornbills get a taste of the wild
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa's co-operative conservation programme of Southern ground hornbills received some good news with the release of two young hand-reared birds into the wild recently.
The two 18-month-old Southern ground hornbills were released into the wild at Mabula Game Reserve in Limpopo. The programme is a collaborative effort by the Zoo on behalf of the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB).
Two young hand-reared birds were released into the resident group of Southern ground hornbills at the Mabula Game Reserve.
Southern ground hornbills are considered to be vulnerable by the world conservation organisation's (IUCN) Red Data List. This indicates that the species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild.
The two birds, Imbambala and Janowski, are both part of the conservation programme to help save this species of bird as they are considered to be vulnerable by the world conservation organisation's (IUCN) Red Data List. This indicates that the species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild.
The species is particularly susceptible to persecution by humans and habitat loss as it breeds extremely slowly. Many pairs do not attempt to breed every year, and when they do nest they only ever rear a single chick; on average a pair only successfully produces a chick once every nine years.
The NZG works closely with the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency and the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project on this conservation programme along with many other partners. Each partner plays a crucial role in the project and the release of these two young birds into the wild is testament to the project's success.
The two young birds were released into the resident group of Southern ground hornbills in the Mabula Game Reserve where it is hoped they will learn the life skills required regarding territory and producing chicks of their own.
Mike Jordan, Conservation Advisor, NZG
The National Zoological Gardens of
South Africa is a proud facility of
the National Research Foundation