geronictus

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Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)

Also known as the Hermit Ibis or Waldrapp, the northern bald ibis is a species of ibis that was once found throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe but is now confined to Morocco and Syria. Northern bald ibises typically inhabit semi-arid steppes and will breed on coastal cliffs. Like other ibises G.eremita’s diet consists mostly of lizards and insects, they will forage in large flocks using their long beaks to probe the ground. They will also nest socially, usually in groups of around 40. Egg laying will occur from March to April and 2-5 young are raised.

Currently the northern bald ibis is listed as critically endangered, this is due in part to hunting, disturbance at breeding sites, pesticides, and habitat loss. Several breeding programs have been set up to help bolster their numbers. They have seen some success and plans for reintroduction are under way. Although success has been seen the future of the northern bald ibis is still far from secure.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Pelecaniformes-Threskiornithidae-Threskionithinae-Geronticus-G.eremita

Image(s): Frode Falkenberg