North African ostrich recovery project: setting up new facilities
In partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), a unique project has been undertaken to increase the number of North African ostriches born in captivity at the breeding center of Kellé, Niger, created by SCF a few years ago. More chicks mean more chance to achieve SCF’s ambitious goal to reintroduce the species into the wild. The recent installation of a solar-powered hatchery and incubation unit on site is now allowing the organization to get closer to this goal.
The containers have successfully been brought from the United States to Niger. The first is dedicated to the incubator, the second to the hatchery, the 3rd is an office and a 4th one houses all of the electrical equipment. A 2-week mission was carried out lately to finally allow the staff on site to use these facilities. In addition to SCF staff and members of WCN, a team of ten was there to set up the entire structure and make it operational – from the water system to the weather station.
The 110 solar panels on the containers ‘roofs are now able to power all the equipment, including 5 air conditioners – which are absolutely crucial to ensure optimal performance of the infrastructure.
Adequate humidity level is also mandatory to ensure successful incubation. That’s why pipes were used to connect the containers to a water drilling site located about 1 km away.
A satellite system will also be set up in the near future to enable internet connection and monitoring of the containers performance by US-based engineers.
These facilities are expected to help increase the ostrich birth rate, but also improve the working conditions on site. Running water and electricity will indeed allow the staff to get rid of difficulties related to its remoteness and focus even better on providing care to the animals… A good news for everyone!