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Report of suspected kidnapping in cooperative breeding Southern Ground- Hornbill in South Africa with consequences for conservation reintroductions

Paige F. Ezzey


Kidnapping in avian species is a rarely observed phenomenon and warrants greater investigation. Kidnapping, reported for some cooperative breeding birds and mammals, has now been confirmed for the Southern Ground- Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri and has implications for management of reintroductions of neighbouring groups. A juvenile was kidnapped from a newly reintroduced group in Limpopo, South Africa. It is suggested that this kidnapping was driven by the group to weaken and destabilise a neighbouring group, rather than strengthen their own with an additional helper.

Keywords: Bucorvus leadbeateri, kidnapping, cooperative breeding, group augmentation, reintroduction, conservation

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525