BOOM IN THE BUSHVELD
IS TRADE IN SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILLS SUSTAINABLE OR IS IT CONTRIBUTING TO DRIVING POPULATION DECLINES?
In response to the Tanzanian government raising their annual live-catch quota to 400 birds and the ongoing range-wide trade in parts for traditional medicine and ritual, we have submitted an application to the Department of Environmental Affairs to initiate the process for listing the species on the CITES Appendix II list. This is not to bring an end to trade but, if the Tanzanian government is in agreement, the increased reporting requirements will give us a means to monitor the extent of trade. At present, although we are aware of illegal trade with many examples easily found online and many more whispered of, we have no way of quantifying if it is a major threat to the population or not.
GROUND-HORNBILLS BACK AT LOSKOP DAM NATURE RESERVE
This has been by far the most logistically difficult reintroduction to date, but we finally have a group of ground-hornbills on Loskop Dam Nature Reserve for the first time since the early 1930's. This group will act as the third 'bush-school' where young hand-reared males will gain survival skills under the mentorship of the wild alpha male before being moved on to become mentors themselves. To everyone who has played a part in getting this right we are very grateful.