NORTH AFRICAN OSTRICH RECOVERY IN NIGER
A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.
Region of Zinder, district of Kellé, Niger
North African ostrich
IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species
Critically endangered (This subspecies of ostrich is included in CITES appendix I. It is not included in the IUCN Red List of endangered species but only because the list does not include subspecies of birds.)
About the Project
Sahara Conservation Fund’s Saharan Red-Necked Ostrich Recovery Program in Niger
In 2006, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Ratite Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) and the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) partnered on a groundbreaking effort to save the endangered North African ostrich and aid its recovery in the West African state of Niger. The long-term goal of the North African Ostrich Recovery Project is to reintroduce and establish self-sustaining populations of ostrich back into the wild. The ostrich conservation program is multi-faceted and includes: captive-breeding and reintroduction; development of a model participatory, multi-partner conservation initiative; establishment of a national ostrich breeding facility that will serve as a platform for building local skills and capacity for husbandry and conservation; improved environmental and conservation education and awareness; and catalytic support for other endangered species and environmental issues. In partnership with SCF, the Ratite TAG is part of a public-private partnership with the Niger’s Wildlife Service and a local NGO (CERNK) that was launched in an effort to breed ostrich for reintroduction. Over the past few years, significant improvements to the ostrich breeding center have been made. Efforts are now focused on further improving the infrastructure at the breeding site through the provision of electricity generated by solar power and new acquisition of chicks from Nigeria and Chad in order to increase the genetic diversity of the captive population. With a stable power supply, the center will be able to increase production of young birds through the use of an incubator and hatcher.
Ostriches at Woodland Park Zoo
On the plains of the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit, you’ll find ostrich roaming among a mix of species, including giraffe, zebra, gazelle and oryx.