Ground Hornbill Conservationists Prioritise Future Work
The Endangered Wildlife Trust's Ground Hornbill Working Group formed a plan of action at their recent Population and Habitat Viability Assessment. Using a computer modelling program, they found that the species is closer to the brink of extinction than they had previously thought.
The need to better understand the birds has become a priority, and as a result of the workshop they are hoping to create a ground hornbill management plan that complies with the new biodiversity act that can be used to oppose changes in land use that will threaten the birds in the future. Intensive research into the bird's habitat requirements is now a top priority for the group.
The introduction of artificial nest sites to boost population growth, along with other more intensive human manipulations of the birds and their eggs will also be subject to more intense scrutiny. The Working Group also plans to step up their public awareness campaign about the birds, to make people more tolerant of the birds, who often become a nuisance when they repeatedly break windows.
The awareness campaign will also promote alternatives to poisons, which farmers often use to kill pests that form part of the ground hornbill's diet. This often leads to the birds themselves being poisoned.