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Posted on: Friday, 11 November 2005

Stately “Lehututu” may not be around for much longer

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Article by: By Fred Katerere, BUA News

Bela Bela – The stately Southern Ground Hornbill or “Lehututu” as it is locally called, may not be around for much longer. These huge black birds with their distinctive beaks and bright red wattles are part of the hornbill family that occurs naturally only in Africa and Asia. However, hornbill numbers are declining due to loss of habitat.

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill

Many species will not survive without human intervention,” says chief executive officer of the Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board, Benny Boshielo. “For any successful conservation effort, the active involvement of provincial authorities, conservation agencies and communities is needed,” said Boshielo.

The world’s 60 species of hornbills are rapidly declining in numbers worldwide. There are less than 1 500 Southern Ground Hornbills left in South Africa. Their numbers have dropped by more than 10 percent in the past three decades. The province has made the Lehututu its avian flagship in the same way it has made the mighty baobab its provincial symbol and flagship of the savannah biome.

Mabula Game Reserve is also the base for the The Ground Hornbill Research and Conservation Project started in 1999.

Article from BUA News

Related Links:
South Africa Birds
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3 comments about Stately “Lehututu” may not be around for much longer
  1. June 23rd, 2009 at 11:20
    Tessa Matthews says:


  2. June 30th, 2009 at 07:53
    Christine says:

    Apologies I think are needed to the Southern Ground Hornbill who is being very unfairly represented by a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill! And, although the research project says they wont be around much longer we have a group here that has increased 6 fold in the last 6 years. One chick a year!

  3. June 30th, 2009 at 18:37
    South Africa Editor says:

    Thanks for letting us know Christine and sincere apologies to the Southern Ground Hornbill. As you can see, we have corrected the image. Well spotted!