A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Geographic Location

Region of Zinder, district of Kellé, Niger

Focal Species

North African ostrich

IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species

Critically endangered (This subspecies of ostrich is included in CITES appendix I. It is not included in the IUCN Red List of endangered species but only because the list does not include subspecies of birds.)

About the Project

Sahara Conservation Fund’s Saharan Red-Necked Ostrich Recovery Program in Niger
This program is an ongoing effort to save the biggest bird on the planet from extinction. The Saharan red-necked ostrich (Stuthio camelus camelus) is the largest race of ostrich and is extinct across 95% of its range. They are locally extinct in Niger, and there is an effort driven by local Nigerians to restore this bird through captive breeding of some pure-bred S. c. camelus gathered from private collections in Niger. Sahara Conservation Fund is partnering with a local ostrich breeding consortium (CERNK), the republic of Niger, and the international zoo community to build capacity for ostrich ranching in Niger, produce chicks, and pursue reintroduction in the future with some of these offspring.  This has involved genetically testing and acquiring pure-bred birds, development of appropriate infrastructure, improving the diet using locally available feedstuffs, identifying and training a management team on the ground, and fine-tuning standard ostrich management techniques to adapt them to the needs and peculiarities of S. c. camelus.


Ostriches at Woodland Park Zoo

On the plains of the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit, you’ll find ostrich roaming among a mix of species, including giraffe, zebra, gazelle and oryx.