66 Dr Lucy Kemp on lead poisoning in ground hornbills

66 Dr Lucy Kemp on lead poisoning in ground hornbills

Lead poisoning is a very serious problem for wildlife, and southern ground hornbills appear to be particularly sensitive to blood lead levels. In August, Avian Behavior International visited the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project in South Africa to identify some key behavioral objectives to improve the Southern Ground Hornbill reintroduction strategy. This bird has a complex life strategy, punctuated by a long lifespan and a complex social structure.

If you are interested in how ethology impacts your work with Conservation Ambassadors, check out the Avian Behavior Laboratory, where we discuss the science of behavior and how it impacts our reinforcement strategies. Use code AVIAN for a 14-day free trial.

Notes and references to only a small portion of Dr. Kemp’s extensive work on the hornbill that also made it into Hillary’s report can be found here:

Danel, S., Rebout, N. & Kemp, L. Social diffusion of new foraging techniques in the southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri). Learn the behavior 51153-165 (2023). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13420-022-00518-4

Kemp, L., Kotze, A., Jansen, R., Dalton, D., Grobler, P., and Little R. (2020). Review of reintroduction trials of the long-lived, cooperative breeding southern ground hornbill. International for the conservation of birds, 30(4), 533-558. doi:10.1017/S0959270920000131

Kemp, L. and Alexander, J. Lessons learned from the reintroduction of long-lived, cooperatively breeding southern ground hornbills to South Africa.


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