ABB | Don't you just love a good news conservation story? Wi

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5 years 9 months ago #67951 by Doug
Doug created the topic: ABB | Don't you just love a good news conservation story? Wi
Don't you just love a good news conservation story? With a special shout-out to PG Glass and Graffiti... :) SHATTERING THE THREAT TO AN ENDANGERED SPECIES The breeding season of the endangered Southern Ground-Hornbill is drawing to an end. Growing chicks are starting to look out of their nests at the world with interest as their fledging time draws near but for a Limpopo rural community this is not a time of joy. With breeding season comes heightened territoriality by the alpha-males in each Hornbill group as they need to ensure their perfect nest hollows and breeding females are safe both from predators and other hornbills wanting to take over these increasingly scarce resources. It is not just predators and invading ground-hornbills that face the wrath of those large beaks though – glass windows also pay the price. Hornbills, on seeing their reflection in the windows, assume they are seeing an enemy and fight it. The Pokanong community, Blouberg, were faced with 110 broken windows when they returned to school after the festive season. Their resident group of Hornbills had done the same the year prior but many of the replaced windows were painted to cut the reflection (but making the classrooms dark and gloomy). The painted windows though remained unbroken, proving it is a territorial problem not a ‘problem animal’ problem. For this school though, the broken windows are a problem. Tight budgets do not allow for these kinds of wildlife-related excesses and luckily there were people willing to help. The Mabula Ground-Hornbill Project (MGHP) organised sponsorship - PG Glass Polokwane sponsored the glass with assistance from the Honorary Rangers Limpopo. The glass instalment was facilitated by Judy Van Schalkwyk of WESSA/WWF Eco-Schools Programme of which the Pokanong School is a proud member. MGHP installed the glass panes with help from two community members (Thomas Mmakgosing and Isrom Matsha) and an educational talk was given by Charles Mphamo, attended by over 450 children and teachers. This included a puppet show for the junior learners. A new and exciting development is the use of Contra Vision on the windows – the sticker-layer is opaque and non-reflective from the outside but allows leaners to see out easily. The use of Contra Vision (sponsored by Graffiti, a corporate branding company) protects the glass from inquisitive Hornbill eyes but allows the children light to learn. By Lucy Kemp (Project Manager - Mabula Ground Hornbill Project)

Africa - Birds & Birding
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