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Tagging NBI in Turkey 2013 Print E-mail

Turkish Ibis arrive at Palmyra!!


August 2013

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Ibis experts Taner Hatipoglu and Lubomir Peske preparing a tagged ibis for release (photo: Chris Bowden/RSPB)

Following a successful breeding season for the semi-wild Northern Bald Ibis population at Birecik, SE Turkey, six of the birds were released as part of trial reintroductions work in late July. A dedicated team first caught up all the birds for the annual ringing/check of the birds at the Birecik ‘Kelaynak’ breeding station run by the Turkish Ministry of Nature Protection and National Parks, and six birds were selected for release in the hope that they may survive and migrate. Three of the six ibis were fitted with satellite transmitters, and to reduce the chance of persecution, their brighter rings were replaced with much less conspicuous ones. Four of the birds were 2013 juveniles and in addition two one-year old birds were also released.

For the first two weeks, the birds remained very close to the breeding station, but feeding at a number of local sites in the area, as well as taking supplementary food provided. This week however, excitement mounts as five of the birds have departed south, and the intriguing news is that they have stopped off very close to Palmyra, where the remaining wild population there has this year sadly declined to just one individual.

Whether the birds will stay in the area or continue their ‘migration’ further south, we will find out from the satellite signals. The work was recommended as a priority at last year’s inaugural meeting of the AEWA International Working Group for Northern Bald Ibis, held at Jazan in Saudi Arabia and by the International Advisory Group for Northern Bald Ibis (IAGNBI). Several partners are involved in the work in addition to the Turkish Ministry, with satellite tags provided by Doğa Derneği (BirdLife partner in Turkey), with Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and RSPB support.