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Darwin Partners with African Parks' Shoebill Conservation Efforts

Posted by Darwin Chambers on September 28, 2023

Darwin Chambers strives to empower our customers to do the work they care about by giving them the tools they need to get the job done. We've recently heard back from one of our partners who uses our portable incubators for their conservation work in the wetlands of Bangweulu in north-eastern Zambia. You can read more about their story below.

Darwin Partners With Shoebill Conservation Efforts in African Wetlands

Darwin Chambers recently had the opportunity to work with African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in Africa in partnership with governments and local communities.

One of their efforts involves sustaining a Shoebill Stork population that's classified as "vulnerable." African Parks' aim is to increase the Shoebill population by collecting one egg from nests which carry two eggs. They then rear that hatchling in captivity until they are ready to be released back to the wetlands.

Shoebill chicks often kill smaller siblings or push them out of the nest. Without African Parks' intervention, many Shoebill chicks are unnecessarily lost to the population forever.

Sustaining Shoebills: A Unique Bird Presents a Unique Problem

African Parks developed the Shoebill Nest Protection Programme in 2012, to ensure the protection of the Bangweulu Wetlands Game Management Area’s threatened Shoebills. The Shoebill habitat covers 3,000km² of wetland. This means Shoebill nests are often very far away and logistically challenging to reach. African Parks' closest rescue this past year was 8 hours away by canoe. Once they reach a nest, African Parks needs a dependable portable incubator to keep the Shoebill egg viable on the long trip home, with a battery life to match.

African Parks first reached out to Darwin Chambers in January of 2022. We were very eager to help support this program and offered an NQ16Plus portable incubator and battery to be able to make these long trips possible. In 2023, with determination and the invaluable NQ16Plus unit, African Parks managed to harvest two eggs from separate nests, both of which hatched in a Darwin Chambers' portable incubator on the way to the facility. African parks currently has six healthy chicks that are now being prepared for their release back into the wild in 2024.

Despite these successes, African Parks has had to pass up several opportunities for more egg harvests because the battery pack for their incubators wouldn't last long enough. To continue supporting the Shoebill initiative and rebalancing the Shoebill population, Darwin Chambers has offered to send an additional NQ16Plus battery pack to African Parks so they'll have the technology they need to do their much-needed work.

To see more about this incredible initiative, visit or check out their Facebook or Instagram page.

About Darwin's Portable Incubators

Designed with the challenges of fieldwork in mind, the NQ16Plus ensures that samples are transported safely, eliminating the risk of blood or hazardous chemicals entering the component case. The secure latch lid further enhances safety by preventing accidental openings during transportation. Its top-opening, hinged and latch design, combined with durable handles, make it ideal for carrying and transport.

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Have questions about how our products can help you with your study or which chamber model is right for your application? Our experts are standing by and ready to help you navigate this important decision. Give us a call at (314) 534-3111 or reach out online now.