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Hornbills spotted at Colchester Zoo's UmPhafa Reserve!

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hornbill halfOn the 18th October, staff on UmPhafa got a wonderful glimpse of a pair of ground hornbills on UmPhafa. This is the first time this species has been seen on the reserve in many years!

Ground hornbills are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and, in South Africa, they are classed as endangered. Secondary poisoning, trade and persecution are estimated to have caused very rapid population declines in South Africa. Ground hornbills need a very large territory for each family group and the lack of suitable nesting sites restricts their increase in numbers.

Back in 2009, we created artificial nesting sites on UmPhafa so fingers crossed this pair take a liking to the reserve and decide to remain with us.

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The area of UmPhafa has one of the highest ecological carrying capacities in the whole of South Africa

Number of species offically recorded on Umphafa

Mammals 49
Birds 186
Reptiles 24
Amphibians 10
Trees 62