Ostrich Recovery Facilities

Kellé, Niger


The North African Ostrich, an ostrich subspecies (Struthio camelus camelus) and the world's largest bird at 9 feet tall, struggles to continue its existence.  Fewer than 20 breeding adults are known to have survived predations and habitat disruption.  The Sahara Conservation Fund pledged to help inhabitants of this remote region in the Sahel, who have worked for years with captive birds to keep the population from completely dying out.  


To aid their efforts, an ambitious project was launched with the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Network to provide facilities modeled on the San Diego Zoo's successful effort to re-introduce the California Condor into the wild.  This project depends on modern poultry husbandry and scientific equipment, which in turn depend on a supply of electricity, climate control, and clean facilities for disease control.


Joined by many other individuals and corporations, I have donated 375 hours to the design of this complex of four units, now on a container ship sailing from Oakland to Africa.  The facility will be assembled in Kellé, Niger, and by this summer's breeding season a team of biologists, veterinarians and conservationists will have the technical means to increase egg and chick survival rates dramatically.  (read more . . .)

Incubator room

The site

Photovoltaic equipment room

S. camelus on the run

pete retondo architecture design architecture and environmental design

Pete Retondo Architecture Design


Rendering: solar array above PV room, office, hatcher and incubator

Test-assembling units in Novato, CA

3d visualization of facilities on site.