- June 7, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Section: Climate Change
Context: A study led by the University of Cape Town has found that an increase in temperatures could see the hornbill disappear from parts of the Kalahari by 2027.
- In the present study, the researchers collected data from pairs breeding in wooden nest boxes at the Kuruman River Reserve and compared their findings with climate trends for the region.
- The researchers studied the effects of high air temperate and drought on the breeding success of the birds in the Kalahari Desert from 2008-2019. Their findings revealed that breeding output collapsed during this time, with an increase in temperature.
- The southern yellow-billed hornbill, like other types of hornbills, has unusual breeding and nesting habits. The female seals herself in a cavity and stays there for about 50 days to brood and care for chicks.
- This type of nesting largely protects from predators, which means that breeding success depends primarily on other factors such as climate and food availability.
- The southern yellow-billed hornbill initiates breeding in response to rainfall in the arid western parts of its southern African range. They feed on insects, spiders and scorpions as well as seeds that they find on the ground. It is usually found in resident pairs or small family flocks.
- They struggle to breed above certain temperatures (35oC) as they face greater difficulty in foraging and lose weight. Based on current global warming trends, that temperature will be exceeded for the birds’ entire breeding season by 2027 as per the study.