Poultry hatchery technology firm NatureForm announced that it has partnered with the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) — an international nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wildlife in the Sahara Desert — to help save the threatened North African red-necked ostrich.
With the exception of a few small savannah populations, the North African red-necked ostrich has completely disappeared from its once vast Sahelo-Saharan range, the company explained. NatureForm is supporting SCF’s efforts to recover this distinctive subspecies of ostrich through the North African Ostrich Recovery Project.
According to the NatureForm announcement, SCF recently completed the commissioning of Niger’s first solar-powered field hatchery, which was custom engineered to restore and repopulate the ostrich in the wild.
“The survival of the North African red-necked ostrich depends upon this project,” SCF fund director John Newby said. “Nigeriens who have been caring for the last five breeding pairs of these ostriches reached out to us about how we could help.”
Four shipping containers were converted into a sustainable camp, and architects and engineers for the North African Ostrich Recovery Project created a hatchery that includes NatureForm incubators, an incubation lab, an office and a solar power plant.
The hatchery was fabricated in San Francisco, Cal., and shipped to Africa for reassembly. Now fully operational, it is equipped to run sustainably, with only a minimal water supply from a nearby well.
The first birds are expected to start laying at the end of April.
“Through this partnership with NatureForm, we hope to safeguard the future of these unique, flightless birds,” Newby said.
NatureForm chief executive officer Steve Warren added, “We are delighted to support this important conservation project and play a part in helping to ensure the survival of this perilously threatened species.”
Pas Reform — consisting of Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies and NatureForm Hatchery Technologies — is the world's only single-source supplier of integrated hatchery solutions. It is a subsidiary of Hydratec Industries NV with a turnover in 2018 of around 200 million euros.