Conservation

In the early years of the project, it was identified that there was a shortage of natural nesting sites, and so artificial nests began to be installed throughout the area. The project now monitors 26 known nesting sites in the APNR. Of these 26 nests, only two are natural nests; the rest are artificial. From the start of the project in 2000 to the present day; a total of 139 Ground-Hornbill chicks have successfully fledged from nests in the APNR. Out of this, 109 of the chicks came from artificial nests installed by the project. Therefore, without the implementation of the artificial nests, the population of Southern Ground-Hornbills in the APNR would decline quite significantly. By providing them with viable artificial nests, we can help boost their numbers and encourage them to breed year after year. In this area, groups breed on average every three years, compared to every nine years in Kruger National Park, which can be attributed to the limited number of viable nesting sites. The increased breeding activity within the APNR also provides the opportunity to expand the population to areas surrounding our study site.


The research and monitoring that the project does, helps to inform The Mabula Ground-Hornbill Project and the national species recovery plan. This contributes to the conservation of the birds as these projects work towards reintroducing the birds back into their historical range, expanding the population in the hope to downgrade their endangered status in South Africa.


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