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Tagging NBI in Turkey 2013 طباعة إرسال إلى صديق

Turkish Ibis arrive at Palmyra!!

August 2013


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.


Northern Bald Ibis in Syria in 2013 طباعة إرسال إلى صديق

Last Northern Bald Ibis in Syria?

Despite the current crisis in Syria, the field team have continued to monitor the ibis, and have reported the sad news that only one of the Northern Bald Ibis has returned to the breeding site at Palmyra this spring. Unfortunately, there are no signs of any more birds so far returning from their migration to Ethiopia. The returning female ‘Zenobia’ was last year paired to ‘Odeinat’, the last male, which was fitted with a small satellite tag that stopped transmitting in southern Saudi Arabia in July 2012 http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/tracking/northernbaldibis/.

It has not been possible to search for Odeinat, as the last signals did not give an accurate location. Subsequently, a total of four birds was seen briefly in January this year by Yilma Abebe and Tariku Dagne (a visit supported by the Ethiopian Natural History Society and the Culture and Tourism Office of Ethiopia, with funds from RSPB) at the usual Ethiopian highland wintering site, but it now seems clear that only one of these birds has returned to the breeding area.

This looks ominously like it may be the end for the relict eastern population of the species, having been rediscovered in 2002 when there were 3 breeding pairs. Despite huge efforts the colony dwindled to just one pair in the past two years and now it seems to just the one bird. This comes at a time when coordinated efforts are strengthening and indeed after the establishment of the new International Working Group was held in Jazan, Saudi Arabia in November 2012


Among the hopes for maintaining the eastern population are further releases from the former colony site at Birecik in SE Turkey where a semi-wild population persists. Meanwhile the only other wild population which is also the subject of dedicated conservation efforts by Souss-Massa National Park and the Spanish BirdLife International Partner SEO /BirdLife, has remained relatively stable (some recent increases) over the past 20 years despite the growing development pressures, but comprises just over 100 breeding pairs at only two colonies in Morocco.   http://northernbaldibis.blogspot.com.es/p/about-nbi-projet.html.

Syrian birds on migration طباعة إرسال إلى صديق

July 2012: Odeinat on migration

Unfortunately Odeinat and its breeding partner Zenobia did not succeed in raising chicks this year. However, as usual in early July, migration started for the Syrian birds. The Syrian colleagues reported that the birds left the breeding site. Satellite data show that Odeinat made a fast jouney down to NE of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, an area which he has favoured the previous years.

If you want to follow his route please visit the RSPB Northern Bald Ibis tracking site!
Morocco 2012 طباعة إرسال إلى صديق
For up to date information about the activities in Morocco please visit:

Northern Bald Ibis conservation programm in Morocco
NBI in Syria 2012 طباعة إرسال إلى صديق

The Northern Bald Ibis in Syria 2012

In February 2012 we learned from the NBI team in Syria that all well known three adults Odeinat, Salama and Zenobia arrived safely back from their Ethiopian winter site. Two untagged birds have been seen with Salama in Ethiopia, so we hoped that at least one of them might make its way to Palmyra.
In April we got the information that a fourth bird arrived at the breeding ground in Palmyra! We hoped that it will pair with the lonely female Salama. In the meanwhile the very experienced pair Odeinat and Zenobia had built a nest and laid eggs.

Although contact and getting information is not easy we heard in June that the pair failed to fledge any chick this year.
In the Talila station the captive pair tried to breed as well but unfortunately failed too. So our hopes go to the next year and a successful migration of our well known group.
One piece of more positive news is that the semi-wild Birecik population in Turkey had a far better breeding season than usual with around 38 juveniles fledging.
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