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The northern bald ibis - welcome back to the wild!

The northern bald ibis was for many centuries extinct in Europe: but now this migratory bird is back again. © M.Schroll

Jazu is back. Last autumn he became the first wild northern bald ibis for 400 years to leave his breeding ground near Burghausen, Bavaria: in summer he found his own way back from Tuscany.
Jazu is one of the three young birds fostered last year by a breeding pair in Burghausen. He is the first northern bald ibis to grow up completely without human influence, learning his route and his natural migratory behaviour. A success that the northern bald ibis team had been working towards for ten years; until now all of the birds had been taken by mini-plane from Bavaria to their wintering grounds in Tuscany.
The northern bald ibis, also known as the hermit Ibis or the waldrapp, disappeared from Europe in the middle of the 17th century. Ten years ago the northern bald ibis team started a project to reintroduce the species.
A total of eleven northern bald ibises this year flew back unaided from Tuscany to Burghausen. Some are currently already on their way south, as the birds begin their autumn journey in Europe around mid-August. The autumn migration is also the time of greatest loss, particularly because of illegal bird hunting in Italy.
Source and further information: www.waldrapp.eu (de)