Southern Ground-Hornbill ENDANGERED

The charismatic Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is a bird that many people already know well. They are a flagship species for the Savanna biome. At present, Southern Ground-Hornbills are considered internationally as ‘Vulnerable’ throughout their range in Africa by the IUCN, but within South Africa they have been classified as ‘Endangered’ , with their numbers outside of formally protected areas still declining.

The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project

The number of Southern Ground-Hornbills outside formally protected areas in South Africa is declining due to loss and transformation of habitat, poisoning, persecution and electrocution. The species is listed as globally Vulnerable and have been uplisted to Endangered in 2014 in South Africa. The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project, BirdLife Species Guardian, is working to reverse the decline by reintroducing the ‘doomed’ second chicks into areas where the species has become locally extinct, mitigating threats, undertaking an extensive education and awareness campaign in areas where the birds still occur, and providing artificial nests for wild groups.

For more information on the Mabula Ground-Hornbill Project, please contact Lucy Kemp at +27 (0)83 289 8610 or, or visit their website at

BirdLife South Africa’s Dr Hanneline Smit-Robinson sits on the Board for the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project and both she and Dr Melissa Whitecross are part of the Southern Ground-Hornbill Action Group and attend regular meetings to discuss the conservation of these iconic birds.