Experimental releases of Waldrapp ibis Geronticus eremita: an unsuccessful trial



The Waldrapp ibis Geronticus ereinita. which is threatened in the wild, breeds well in captivity. Between 1983 and 1986 a series of experimental releases were made at Tel Aviv University Research Zoo, with birds of Moroccan origin which had been captive bred over several generations, with a view to establishing procedures for reintroduction. It was found that the birds were capable of sustained flight but had difficulty orientating and obtaining sufficient food. Of the four types of release groups only that using hand-reared fledglings was considered to have limited success. A group of 13 free-living birds was established at the Zoo but eventually all but one disappeared. The birds left in two groups and it was assumed that they had migrated.