Following months of rigorous adjudication, the Whitley Fund for Nature last night announced the winners of the international Whitley Awards for 2021. The IFP is pleased to see that one of South Africa's own conservationists has been recognised with an Award for her work in the protection and repopulation of the Endangered Southern Ground Hornbill.
Dr Lucy Kemp and her team on the Southern Ground Hornbill Project have been working for years to ensure that this important bird remains a part of the South African landscape.
As Patron of the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP has congratulated Dr Kemp on her outstanding achievement.
Explaining the significance of this Project, Prince Buthelezi has said, "Since the time of our ancestors, we have held the Ground Hornbill in high esteem, recognising them as harbingers of rain. We have used their presence as an alarm clock, indicating the time to plant our fields. In a time of severe drought, their presence is connected to much welcome relief. They are therefore symbolic of survival."
Through the work of the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project, it has been revealed that at least 60% of the national breeding females or territorial groups, living outside of protected areas in South Africa, live on the land of the Zulu Kingdom.
As Prince Buthelezi explains, "This land includes vast areas of natural, rural and agricultural habitats within the range of the Southern Ground Hornhill. As a nation, we therefore have a unique responsibility to protect them. Dr Kemp has been our greatest champion, and our finest partner in fulfilling that responsibility."
The IFP congratulates Dr Kemp on winning this prestigious Award. We also thank her and her team for all that they are doing to protect this iconic bird.
To view the Whitley Awards 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wApswnLAzBM