The original habitat of the ostrich :
Ostriches can be found on farms all over the world, however, their native habitat is in the Savannah (extended vegetation under dry and hot conditions), the largest savannah areas are found in Africa, South America, Australia, India, Burma, Thailand, Madagascar and the forests of Africa.
Ostriches sometimes gather in groups of up to 100 birds, but most of them consist of groups of up to 10 birds, according to the San Diego Zoo, and the group consists of a male and a female Sovereign along with a number of females.
There are now 5 out of 9 species of native ostriches, and less than 150,000 ostriches in the wild, these numbers are small and endangered, but farms in Africa and Europe are helping to reduce their extinction rate, and the most important factors that must be taken into account to preserve this species of birds: stop poaching, and preserve the natural environment from any danger.
Ostriches need an environment where vegetation and open water sources are available, especially since this family of birds is unable to fly and cannot rely on vegetation only as a source of water. Here is a breakdown of the ostrich’s native places:
The most common type of ostrich is found in Africa, it is found in southern and eastern Africa, and the one found in North Africa is the type that is universally recognized among people, and it is from the genus of Kiwi, EMU, cassowary, and rheas birds.
The dry regions of Africa are the native habitat of ostriches, and some of them are found in Central Africa, and Egypt was once one of the most important countries producing ostrich feathers and the main habitat from which ostriches moved to South Africa.
Ostriches have several species that live in Africa, the most important of which are:
The red-necked ostrich: nicknamed the North African ostrich, was once one of the most widespread species in the world, but now it is only found in North Africa, and the male ostrich, called The Dark One, is characterized by its black color and the female in gray, which is the tallest ostrich species, and it is also endangered for using its meat for food.
Masai ostriches: this type of ostrich lives mainly in East Africa, specifically in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and is characterized by its relatively short feathers above its head.
Southern ostrich: this type of ostrich lives in the southern part of Africa, specifically in the areas of the Zambezi and Konini rivers, and this type of ostrich has been domesticated because of its feathers of high economic value.
Somali ostriches: this type of ostrich is found only in the Horn of Africa (Somali Peninsula), and this type of ostrich is characterized by the fact that females are larger than males, and the color of the neck and legs of this species turns dark blue in the mating season.
In the mid-seventies of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Australia had a large number of ostrich farms, but in 1914, specifically, animal agriculture related to ostriches disappeared in Australia, to be revived again in the late seventies of the twentieth century, and gray ostriches abound in Australia.
Places of ostrich spread around the world :
Ostriches are widely distributed on the continent of Africa, but before that, they were found in the western Mediterranean region, China, and Mongolia, and are now found as a result of migrations in Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, the western coast of the Red Sea, Tanzania, and some regions of the Arabian Peninsula, especially the state of Kuwait (animal husbandry).
Here are the most important areas of ostrich spread around the world:
The Syrian (Middle Eastern) ostrich is no longer found in the Syrian wilds and the Arabian Peninsula today, where it became extinct in 1941, as a result of hunting operations to benefit from feathers and meat for food and trade, and was reared on farms.
It was the Syrian or Arabian ostrich of the red-necked ostrich breed that was found in this region.
Ostriches in Sudan are part of the heritage, as a feather is used in decoration during important events, and Sudan is a suitable habitat for the coexistence and reproduction of ostriches, as it is characterized by its hot dry climate, and the sandy terrain provides suitable for the process of incubating eggs and breeding.
Sudan launched a number of projects related to ostrich breeding between 1992 and 2004, where the Federal Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife granted 13 permits for animal farms related to ostriches, and the farm is considered the “agricultural project of hope” in the governorate of Katina, White Nile state, the pioneer in the field of breeding ostriches in Sudan.
The North African ostrich (red-necked ostrich), which has been extinct for 50 years, is currently breeding in the Moroccan desert through its resettlement through the efforts of the Moroccan forest department with local non-governmental companies. Safia Reserve, which was established in 2008, is one of the most important projects to protect ostriches in Morocco and revive them in the region.
South America :
South America produces about 25,000 thousand heads of ostriches per year, and ostriches on this continent are characterized by being smaller in size compared to ostriches on the continent of Africa, and ostriches (Rhea) on this continent are the largest species of birds, and Rhea females lay about 5 eggs and during the mating season lay about 60 eggs.
New Zealand :
Ostriches were bred in New Zealand in the late ninth century, specifically in the eighties in 1999, and were revived again in the nineties after their disappearance, as the number of annual animal farming ostriches in New Zealand in 2007 was about 2,000-3,000 birds; with the aim of producing meat.
The most important areas for the spread of ostriches by type can be enumerated as follows:
- Red-necked ostrich (North African ostrich)
Southern Morocco, eastern Mauritania, southwestern Ethiopia, and northern Uganda.
- Somali ostriches
Northeast Ethiopia, Somalia, and northern Kenya.
- Gray-crested ostrich (Maasai)
Eastern and northern Kenya, Tanzania.
- Gray ostrich (Australian)
North of Namibia, south of Zimbabwe, and the Cape Peninsula.
There is a species of ostrich called the Rhea that is found on the South American continent, especially in Argentina and Brazil, and this species is considered an endangered species because of its frequent exposure to hunting operations, as it exists in small numbers, and the process of its breeding and hunting has been determined for commercial purposes.
The ostrich is one of the endemic bird species in Africa mainly because of the availability of a dry and humid climate suitable for its reproduction, and it is also found in the Middle East regions, but it has become extinct due to poaching operations and has been revived and improved through animal farming operations and the establishment of reserves, and many countries are trying to move towards animal agriculture with regard to ostriches.