BirdLife: The Magazine September 2017 - Page 56

PREVENTING EXTINCTIONS Elsewhere, in the Austrian Alps, and southern Spain, two separate re-introduction programmes have released substantial captive-reared birds with the hope they establish again in Europe. Whilst, then, probably all wild Northern Bald Ibis are now found in Morocco, the species’ con- servation is once again becoming an interna- tional effort. Hope is far from lost for the Turk- ish population, and many countries are joining the effort across the bird’s historical range, with support, both financial and technical, com- ing through SEO/BirdLife, RSPB (BirdLife in the UK), SVS-BirdLife Switzerland and VBN (BirdLife in the Netherlands). The work is carried out in Morocco with the High Commission for Water and Forest and Fight Against Desertification (Government of Morocco). The Northern Bald Ibis International Working Group has just held its second ever meeting, as part of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). Held in Sous Massa National Park, attendee conservationists from all ibis territories are now equipped with an updated International Single Species Action Plan to continue the trend. Leaving the cliffs of Tamri, it strikes you that those who wish to call the Northern Bald Ibis “ugly” haven’t seen healthy birds up close in their natural habitat; haven’t seen how the light shimmers green against their magnificent black SEPTEMBER 2017 • BIRDLIFE Watching over the colony at Tamri, Morocco. Photo Louis Marie Préau 0 flanks. With news of new colonies, and a new phase in ibis conservation, perhaps history will repeat itself and the Northern Bald Ibis will once again be idolised throughout North Africa, the Middl e East and Europe. WITH NEW COLONIES AND AN INTERNATIONAL EFFORT, IT’S A NEW PHASE IN THE SPECIES’ CONSERVATION BirdLife’s success in helping the recovery of Northern Bald Ibis internationally has been funded since 2009 by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Criti- cal Ecosystem Partnership Fund. In 2017, Zeiss became a BirdLife Species Champion for Northern Bald Ibis along- side His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. GREPOM and SEO/ BirdLife release a satellite- tagged juvenile Northern Bald Ibis. Photo Víctor G. Matarranz 7 57