The Southern Ground-Hornbill
The southern ground-hornbill, also culturally known as the “thunder” or “rain” bird, is listed as “Vulnerable” throughout their range by the IUCN, but in South Africa are classified as “Endangered.” Current estimates show that their population decline in this region could result in meeting the criteria to become “Critically Endangered” in South Africa. The decline of the southern ground-hornbill is due to various forms of human encroachment including, habitat loss, loss of nesting trees, indirect poisoning, trapping, conflict with humans, use of their body parts in traditional practices, electrocution from power lines and live trade.
The Natural Encounters Conservation Fund supports the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project in an effort to preserve these birds. The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project is directly working with the southern ground-hornbills reintroducing them into their native habitats, leading further research of the species, and educating and empowering local communities.