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Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 0925679

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 0925679) - Southern Ground Hornbill - Awarded $20,000 on November 01, 2009

The Project Mission is to reverse the decline of the Southern Ground Hornbill (SGH) (Bucorvus leadbeateri) population in Africa by 2020, and start a population data collection on the Northern Ground Hornbill (NGH) (Bucorvus abyssinicus). PROJECT OBJECTIVES 1. To generate an increase in the SGH population and an expansion back into as much of its historical range as possible by 2020. 2. To continue with pioneering of in- and ex-situ management and husbandry techniques for SGHs that will help to achieve this Mission in and outside of South Africa. 3. To continue to collect by 2015 population data, and information on threats and mortalities, for the SGH in Africa to determine their global status. 4. To continue to collect data on alterations of historical range and habitat, and use the skills and knowledge thus far acquired on this species to investigate further the threats and their alleviation. 5. To continue to collect and analyse DNA samples to determine genetic structure of global and local populations. The Project was founded in 1999 on Mabula Game Reserve, Bela Bela, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS. Project base at Mabula and farms and conservation areas in its vicinity. Kruger National Park - Nest search and harvest of second hatched chicks for hand-rearing for captive breeding and wild release. Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa in protected and unprotected areas where Ground Hornbills were found historically and in some cases are still established. Limpopo River Valley – Project Research site. Contact made in the 9 African countries where SGH occur but no full-blown project set up as yet to establish a global population count. TARGET SPECIES – The Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri). This bird is the largest of the hornbill family, the longest-lived (60 years) and the slowest breeding (on average they only rear one chick to fledging every nine years). They are carnivorous co-operative breeders, living in groups of 2 –12 birds and made up of an alfa pair and predominantly male helper. They do not require water, and nest in large natural cavities in old trees and in cliff holes. HABITAT – The Savannah biome on the Eastern side of Africa from central South Africa to Kenya. Savannah grasslands/Bush veld with large trees for nesting and roosting, and a supply of small mammals, frogs, snakes and insects.

Project 0925679 location - South Africa, Africa