Philippines: Dating Centre for Hornbills and Eagle-Owls

The very first 'dating centre’ for threatened species at the Biodiversity Conservation Centre NFEFI-BCC will soon be ready to house endangered hornbills and Philippine eagle owls.
The construction of the new breeding aviaries started in February 2010 and finished at the end of last year. This section comprises four large interconnecting flight aviaries with rear shelters and service corridor. The latter is also designed to function as an interior flight cage: any bird irrespective of species or sex may be temporarily housed there. The flight cage will give any bird full contact to unmated individuals of the other sex in the adjacent aviaries (e.g. a female kept in the flight corridor can get equal access to and choose any one of two or more male birds maintained separately in each aviary). In this way a single animal will be able to select its own mate amongst the available birds. This “dating centre” for “mate choice trial” is intended to provide optimal mate choice opportunities, whilst also avoiding potential stress and losses arising from mixing incompatible individuals.

Stiftung Artenschutz supported the infrastructural development at NFEFI-BCC. The financial aid was urgently needed: the construction of the new breeding aviaries and the costs of undertaking some important and urgent renovations of the original aviaries constructed about 12 years ago proved to be considerably more expensive than originally expected as the prices for most of the raw materials suddenly increased.