Threat mitigation

Since many of the threats facing Southern Ground-hornbills are caused by humans, we believe that people can also be part of the solution, and so we work extensively to mitigate each threat using a variety of methods:

  • Persecution for territorial window-breaking: Most often reported pre-breeding and as being done by the alpha female, we advise and educate those affected by this human-wildlife conflict on the many options available for removing their reflection from a window or other breakable surface using such techniques as paint, ash, shade cloth, safety glass and contra-vision.
  • Loss of natural nesting sites: After a long process of materials testing, we have designed the ideal artificial nest for ground-hornbills, which means that we can provide nests for any wild group that lacks a suitable site within their territory to rear a chick.
  • Secondary poisoning: To encourage landowners and communities to take ‘ownership’ of the hornbill group in their area, a custodianship programme has been designed, which includes guidelines on land-use practices that are safe for Southern Ground-hornbills. Furthermore, we are a part of the newly formed National Poisoning Prevention Working Group, which is working collaboratively to eliminate the threat of poisoning for all African wildlife. 
  • Electrocution on transformer boxes: The only way to prevent a bird with such a large wingspan from being electrocuted when perched on a transformer box is to insulate all the exposed electrics. We are therefore working with ESKOM in the hope of having every transformer box within a Southern Ground-hornbill territory insulated.