Growing up to 2.74m tall, the North African ostrich Struthio camelus camelus is the largest sub-species of these giant flightless birds. Despite once occupying much of the Saharan region, this indigenous form is now represented by just two or three remnant populations. However, using birds of Chadian and Sudanese origin via projects in Morocco and Saudi Arabia respectively, we have begun the process of reintroducing North African ostriches to protected areas in Tunisia.
The first cohort of North African ostriches released into Dghoumes National Park in 2014 marked the return of the species to this part of the world after an absence of 127 years. With further birds due for release in Sidi Toui National Park and others managed in the Orbata Faunal Reserve, a national meta-population of North African ostriches is on the way to being established in Tunisia. We are also supporting a similar process in Niger, helping local community projects to breed birds for release.