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Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) | by Susan Roehl
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Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes)

Samburu National Reserve


East Africa


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Taking a break from my Madagascar images, I will be uploading a few from my trip to Kenya in 2015. One thing I can say about Kenya, you cannot get as close to the animals as in Madagascar.


Wikipedia -The Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) also known as the blue-necked ostrich is a large flightless bird native to the Horn of Africa. It was previously considered a subspecies of the common ostrich, but was identified as a distinct species in 2014.


Found in the Horn of Africa, especially in north-eastern Ethiopia and across all of Somalia. Also seen in Kenya at Samburu National Reserve.


The Somali ostrich is differentiated ecologically from the Common ostrich, with which there is some range overlap, by preferring bushier, more thickly vegetated areas, where it feeds largely by browsing, whereas the latter is mainly a grazer on open savanna. There are also reports of interbreeding difficulties between the two taxa.


A report to the IUCN in 2006 suggests that the Somali ostrich was common in the central and southern regions of Somalia in the 1970s and 1980s. However, following the political disintegration of that country and the lack of any effective wildlife conservation, its range and numbers there have since been shrinking as a result of uncontrolled hunting for meat, medicinal products and eggs, with the bird facing eradication in the Horn of Africa.


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Taken on January 12, 2015