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Southern Ground Hornbill

The southern ground hornbill is the largest and heaviest of all hornbill species.

Males of the species can weigh up to approximately 6 kilograms (13 pounds). They are found in eastern and southern Africa, typically nesting in large tree holes and occasionally rock cavities. The species is considered vulnerable due to illegal hunting, poisoning, and destruction of nesting habitat. Photographed at Parc des Oiseaux, France.

Picture of southern ground hornbill (2601937)

Go Behind the Scenes of the Photo Ark

Streaming Now | RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark

Watch photographer Joel Sartore in action in the new PBS series RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark. Join Joel as he travels to Madagascar, China, Spain, Cameroon, and New Zealand in search of some of the world’s rarest creatures to photograph for the Photo Ark. The journey is tough, but the chance to add species on the brink of extinction to the Ark makes it all worth it.

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Upcoming Events

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See Joel Live  

Hear from Joel about Photo Ark and his career as a Nat Geo Photographer! Learn More

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Follow Photo Ark on Facebook  

Follow us on Facebook to learn about future Photo Ark virtual (and actual) events. Learn More

See the Latest Animals Added to the Ark

In the News

Picture of Canada lynx at Cincinnati Zoo (1582630)

Photo Ark Spotlight: Lynx  

All four species of lynx have been photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark project, where they are ambassadors for an extraordinary medium-size wild cat.

Picture of African leopard at the Houston Zoo (1559051)

Will Africa’s Big Five Become Extinct in the Wild?  

On World Wildlife Day 2017, a reflection and celebration in photography from the National Geographic Photo Ark of Africa’s Big Five.

Picture of polar bear at Tulsa Zoo (1213104)

Are We the Last Generation to See Polar Bears in the Wild?  

Take a moment this International Polar Bear Day to reflect on this incredible species and how we stand to lose it in the wild by the end of this century.

Help Us Save Wildlife

Thousands of species are at risk and time is running out. Join National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore as he leads the Photo Ark project to document our planet’s biodiversity and find innovative solutions to help save threatened species and protect their critical habitats.

Saving Species in the Wild

Many species in the Photo Ark are at risk in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal poaching, and other threats. National Geographic is actively funding conservationists in the field to help some of these species in most critical need. Meet some of the conservation heroes who are helping protect wildlife and find out how you can take action to help.

Picture of Burmese star tortoise (1102552)

Kalyar Platt and the Burmese Star Tortoise  

Microchips, other ID markers, and transmitters help Kalyar Platt and team keep track of a few tortoises to monitor the success of their return to the wild.

Picture of Chinese Merganser (2176101)

Jia Zhong and the Chinese Merganser  

Jia Zhong and her colleagues work with hundreds of birdwatchers across China to locate, study, and protect the rivers that harbor the Chinese Merganser.


Follow Photo Ark

Keep up with Photo Ark and Joel Sartore by following the project on Facebook and Instagram.