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Northern Bald Ibis

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  • English name
    Northern Bald Ibis
  • ClassificationCiconiiformes, Threskiornithidae
  • Scientific nameGeronticus eremita

Northern Bald Ibis
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The Northern Bald Ibis vanished from Europe almost completely in the 17th century because people hunted it for food. There are a small number of habitats in North Africa, but they are still on the brink of extinction because their population has yet to increase.

Size & Weight (Adult)

Total length: 80cm
Full wingspan: 41cm

(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)

Where they live

The Northern Bald Ibis normally lives in the desert and plateaus of Morocco and migrates to the rocky coastline for breeding. Smaller habitats also exist in Turkey and Syria.

What they eat

The Northern Bald Ibis likes to eat grasshoppers, ants, and other insects. They also eat frogs and snails.

What they are like

Their long curved beaks are ideal for catching food. The Northern Bald Ibis uses its beak with great skill to dig out insects hiding in the dirt and under rocks.

Find out more about the Northern Bald Ibis!

Vanished from Europe in the 17th century
The Northern Bald Ibis features spiked feathers on its head, a featherless face, and a long curved beak. At one time, they existed in large numbers in many countries. They even existed in Germany and Switzerland, but almost completely vanished from Europe in the 17th century. In addition to being hunted for food, it is believed that climate change has also led to their disappearance.

The few remaining habitats are in ruins...
Currently, a few habitats remain in places such as North Africa, but even so, their numbers have not risen. Building and farmland development has taken the place of their feeding and nesting areas. Fortunately, they do respond favorably to artificial breeding, which is why there are more Northern Bald Ibises in zoos around the world than in the wild. In order to return new bred Northern Bald Ibises to the wilderness, we must improve the environment of their habitat.


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