January 2014 saw the launch of one of Europe’s largest species conservation projects. The project’s aim is to reintroduce the northern bald ibis, a species of migratory bird, to Europe by the year 2019. Veterinarians from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, make sure the animals are fit for their journey to the south. 31 hand-raised northern bald ibises are healthy and will begin their migration coming Saturday, following an ultralight aircraft towards Tuscany. Other 17 juvenile birds raised by their parents will follow experienced adult birds.
The northern bald ibis was native to Central Europe until the 17th century. Due to extensive hunting, this strange-looking migratory bird completely disappeared from Europe around the year 1630. According to the Zoological Society of London, it is the 12th most endangered species of bird in the world.
The University of Veterinary Medicine’s service for ornamental birds has been in charge of the medical care of the northern bald ibises since 2008. “We regularly examine the animals’ health. The juveniles must be fit for their migration. Last week some animals developed an acute gastrointestinal infection, probably due to the very high temperatures outside. We treated them successfully with antibiotics. Now they are ready to go,” explains Alexandra Scope, the university’s specialist for avian medicine.
“This year, 48 juveniles will fly south for the first time. We measure the animals’ weight, conduct a general clinical examination and check the birds for infections. A blood test provides insight into possible organ disease. This season’s animals are all fit.”
Juveniles are raised by humans but also by parent animals
This year, 32 animals were raised by hand at Tiergarten Schönbrunn. One of these birds unfortunately died in an accident. Another 17 animals were raised by their parents in Kuchl, Salzburg and in Burghausen, Bavaria. The birds are trained to follow an ultralight aircraft at Seekirchen am Wallersee.
The juveniles that were raised by their parents will also begin their flight soon together with the adult birds. Some of the older animals know the way and fly south independently. The hand-raised birds will follow an ultralight that will guide them to southern Tuscany. The researchers from the northern bald ibis team hope that after sexual maturity the birds will begin to migrate independently between the Alps and Tuscany. Some of them already do.
Scope regularly travels to Tuscany herself in order to examine the northern bald ibises medically at their wintering location. Next year, more than 80 birds will be there waiting for her. “A northern bald ibis which we treated for a broken wing last year after it had been shot is already fully capable of flight and is raising juveniles again this year,” Scope reports.
European Union a financial supporter of the northern bald ibis reintroduction
The aim of the EU project LIFE+ Biodiversity, with partners from Austria, Italy and Germany, is to reintroduce the northern bald ibis to Europe. The plan is to have more than 120 northern bald ibises migrate between the northern Alpine foothills and Tuscany by the year 2019.
The project is based on the years of experience of the Waldrappteam conservation project which began its work in 2002.
A first small breeding colony was established in Burghausen, Bavaria. Two additional breeding colonies are to be established in Kuchl, Salzburg and Überlingen, Baden-Württemberg. Several human-led migrations using ultralights are planned from the different breeding areas to the common wintering area in southern Tuscany.
Northern bald ibises are peaceful animals. Conflicts with people are rare. The harmless birds pose no threat to people or domestic animals. Wherever the northern bald ibises show up, they attract a lot of attention because of their strange appearance. They quickly become very popular in their breeding and wintering areas.
The Website of the Waldrappteam-Conservation-Project: http://www.waldrapp.eu
The Website of the Service for Birds and Reptiles at the Vetmeduni Vienna: http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/interne-kleintiere/dienstleistungen/avian-and-rept...
About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at
Ao.Univ.-Prof. Alexandra Scope
Clinical Unit of Internal Medicine Small Animals
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-6833
Science Communication / Public Relations
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
Dr. Susanna Kautschitsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences