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  • English name
    Shoebill
  • ClassificationCiconiiformes, Balaenicipitidae
  • Scientific nameBalaeniceps rex

Shoebill
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The Shoebill is well known as for its habit of remaining motionless for long periods. They are declining in number because people are converting their swamp habitats into farmland or other forms, and because people have introduced fish that eat their food.

Size & Weight (Adult)

Body length: 120 cm

(Source: The 21st Century Endangered Animals of the World (Library edition) Gakken)

Where they live

The Shoebill lives in the swamps of Africa.

What they eat

Their favorite food is the mamba, a type of lungfish. They also eat baby crocodiles and chicks.

What they are like

The most prominent feature of the Shoebill is its ability to stay still for long periods. It sits quietly in the swamp waiting for fish to approach. As soon as it sees one, it lays its whole body onto the surface water and captures the fish with its beak.

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Find out more about the Shoebill!

Disappearing habitat!
The Shoebill is well known as for its habit of remaining motionless for long periods. It sits in the swamp waiting patiently until its favorite fish comes by, and can go for hours without moving. Its unique appearance and large head and beak leave a lasting impression. Now, the Shoebill is on the brink of extinction. This is because people are turning more and more of their swamp habitat into farmland.

The unwelcome foe?!
Another problem facing the Shoebill is the presence of fish that did not exist in this habitat originally. People released these fish into the swamp to cultivate them for food sale. However, the fish ate much of the mamba which the Shoebill feeds on. While farming and fishing are certainly important activities for sustaining human life, it has also made an undeniably negative contribution to animal population loss. We must find a way to allow both humans and animals to coexist.

Reference

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  • Part4 "Deforestation - building roads destroys animals"
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