Monday, 1 August 2011

Dublin Zoo funds satellite tag for NBI

Dublin Zoo helps fund a number of in situ conservation programmes. While maintaining breeding populations in zoos is beneficial, it is of paramount importance that wild populations and their habitats be understood and conserved.

The Northern bald ibis is one of the most endangered birds in the world. The Souss-Massa National Park in Morocco and surrounding area is vitally important for this species survival as the entire population breed within this area. The main threat to this species is the increase in leisure tourism and the subsequent disturbance to Waldrapp ibis nesting sites and feeding areas.

A National Species Action Plan was drawn up and one of the priorities was the satellite tagging and colour ringing of some birds to discover more on this species’ seasonal movements and area use outside of the national park.

In 2010, Dublin Zoo provided funding for satellite tagging, but the capture of an adequate bird should be done just after breeding. Thus, in July 2011, one adult bird, named Aylal, was equipped with a GPS tag that allows to know accurately where's the bird, thus permiting to identify key sites or potential threats.

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