GANTER visiting the Northern Bald Ibis
at Burghausen an der Salzach
Since 2004 the Bavarian city Burghausen is a location of the Northern-Bald-Ibis project. The birds have been breeding on the castle for five years. There we met with Dr. Fritz, founder of the ibis team, and Mr. Habel, colony manager in Burghausen. Together we visited the four breeding pairs and 13 young birds, shortly before they fledged.
"Weird" and sociable birds
Northern bald ibises are very sociable birds. When bald ibis
partners greet each other, this regularly triggers a greeting
ritual throughout the colony.
Popular and appreciated
In ancient Egypt, the bald ibis was considered to be the bringer
of light and the embodiment of the human spirit. The figure of
the bald ibis even found its way into hieroglyphic writing.
ancient egypt: "shine", "spirit",
"ancestral spirit", "spirit soul"
In Islam, the bald ibis is considered a lucky charm, which is said to have shown Noah the way from Mount Ararat to the fertile valley of the Euphrates after the flood. In the 17th century, bald ibises were protected in the Orient. Various nomadic tribes believed that they carry away the souls of the deceased in their iridescent plumage.
In Europe, bald ibises were in great demand as a delicacy and ornithological treasure for zoos and natural history museums. At some point the bald ibis had completely disappeared in the wild in Europe and was only thought to be a mythical animal.
One of the largest european species conservation projects
In the context of an EU project (LIFE+ Biodiversity), with partners in Austria, Italy and Germany, the species is to be reintroduced in Europe. The project Waldrappteam is the first scientifically based attempt to reintroduce an extinct migratory bird species in its original range. A successfull progress of the project may be exemplary for further reintroduction projects of endangered migratory bird species.
More information to project 'Reason for hope': www.waldrapp.eu