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 of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences