Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)
With only approx. 400 birds remaining in the wild, Northern bald ibis are critically endangered. However, the captive population of Moroccan origin is flourishing and numbers about 2000. It is therefore timely to go ahead with experimental projects for testing procedures for the reintroduction of these highly social colonial birds. Gaining know-how for reintroduction is exactly what we are aiming at in Grünau.Our experience shows that it would be possible and timely to re-introduce this ibis into Europe again. The hurdle to overcome is certainly the winter. Re-introduction is only possible when the birds establish a tradition of migrating South. As migration routes are learned from the parents or other colony members, using hand-raising and ultralight planes may work.In 2003 and every year ever since, the Alps had been crossed towards a wintering area at the West coast of Italy (see www.waldrappteam.at).
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