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Strengthening collaborations for the Recovery of North African Ostrich

 

ostriches in Niger

 

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is implementing a national and international action plan within the framework of the North African Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) Recovery project.

 

The success of this initiative relies on the support and involvement of various stakeholders.

 

       Nigerien authorities workshop  ostrich pair and chicks

 

At the end of 2016, SCF met with the Nigerien authorities and private holders, followed by a workshop with our international partners including Marwell Wildlife (UK), Hanover Zoo (Germany) and Saint-Louis, San Diego and Smithsonian’ zoos (USA). During the workshop, SCF decided to organise an advisory visit from Dr Marie Petretto, field biologist and wildlife veterinarian from Marwell Wildlife working in Tunisia to share her expertise on ostrich breeding for reintroduction purposes and provide training for the staff at Kellé breeding site (Niger) where a new artificial hatching unit would soon be operational.

 

      Team training ostrich  class in Niger

 

During Dr Petretto’s visit from the 12th to 18th July 2017, the managers and workers from the other Nigerien ostrich breeding sites were invited to attend the training course at Kellé. As a consequence, we were delighted to welcome Mr. Issaka Abdou Idrissa, Iferouane manager and Mr. Abdoulaye Maoudé, guard and ostrich keeper at Maïné-Soroa to the ostrich training course. We also made the course accessible to five Ecology Masters students and to the Head of Environment Services of Kellé, to increase local learning and expertise.

 

Our efforts for ostrich conservation received support from the local dignitaries and the welcome for the course was delivered by the Kellé authorities, including Mr. Mai Moussa Mai Salé, traditional Head of Canton, Mr. Idrissa Adam, Deputy Mayor and General Mamadou Ousseini, the Kellé site owner.

 

This initiative formalises and extends SCF’s involvement in ostrich conservation in Niger, as we start to provide technical and financial support to ostrich conservation beyond the Kellé breeding site. It has also enabled us to share expertise and experiences between comparable projects led by SCF in Niger and Marwell Wildlife in Tunisia.

 

Maimounatou Mamadou Ibrahim,

Ostrich Breeding center Manager in Kellé,

Sahara Conservation Fund - Niger