The world’s largest bird park is located in Walsrode in Lower Saxony. Around 4000 birds from 650 species live on the 24-hectare site. Among them are also very special specimens, such as the shoebill pair. What is special about the birds is not only their name and appearance.
The shoebill is officially on the list of endangered animals. It is estimated that there are 5,000 to 8,000 individuals left in the world. The reason for the population decimation is mainly habitat destruction. Originally, the bird, which belongs to the order of waders, comes from the swamp areas south of the Sahara. It lives mainly in wet areas that are densely overgrown with reeds or papyrus, which is why it is rarely seen in its native country.
It can be found for example in South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. The pair from Walsrode also comes originally from Africa, because until now it has not been possible to breed shoebills in captivity worldwide.
There are reports of a partial success in Brussels: a chick is said to have hatched there once, but it did not grow up.
Breeding in captivity would therefore be a huge success for the preservation of the species and also economically interesting. Because shoebills cost up to 25,000 euros.
For this reason, no effort is spared in Walsrode to offer the shoebill pair the best conditions for reproduction.
One component of this has recently been our Gallux poultry lamp. It is intended to give the rare pair home sun in Walsrode and thus stimulate reproduction. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Gallux will be able to do its part in breeding the exciting animals and will of course report here as soon as there is any news.