Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tagging success boosts hopes for Arabian phoenix

24.07.2006
An international mission to save the rarest bird in the Middle East has cleared its first hurdle.

Satellite tags have been attached to three of the remaining seven, adult, northern bald ibis in Syria, a species thought extinct in the region until four years ago.

Scientists from the RSPB and BirdLife Middle East will track the trio’s migration as it leaves breeding sites near Palmyra in south-east Syria this month.

Bedouin nomads and Syrian government rangers have been watching over the nests of Zenobia, named after Palmyra’s third century warrior queen, Sultan and Salam. Scientists hope to locate their winter base and discover why so few birds are returning.

The project is being strongly supported by the Syrian government and the Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife.

Paul Buckley, Head of Global Country Programmes at the RSPB, said: “We know next to nothing about where these birds go and this is our very last chance to keep the Syrian population alive. If we can follow their migration and locate their winter home we should find out why their numbers are so low and how we can protect them. That is the first step towards increasing their numbers again.”

The northern bald ibis is a large, mainly black bird, with a bald red face, red bill and legs and ‘punk’ plumage. It was once widespread across the Middle East, northern Africa and the European Alps, was revered by the Egyptian Pharaohs and had its own Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph.

Numbers plunged because of habitat loss, human disturbance and persecution and the species is now classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN – World Conservation Union, the highest level of threat there is.

The Syrian group forms one of only two wild populations of the species in the world. The other is found in Morocco, mostly in the Souss-Massa National Park, south of Agadir.

Ibrahim Khader, Head of BirdLife Middle East, said. “Discovering the ibis was like finding the Arabian phoenix. Our survey and tagging work was some of the most challenging fieldwork we had ever done. We knew they were in Palmyra because of reports from Bedouin nomads and local hunters. Without this tracking project, the bird would have been consigned to history and hieroglyphics.”

When the birds leave Palmyra, they are likely to fly as a group heading south towards Saudi Arabia and Yemen or even as far as Eritrea.

Dr Ken Smith, a senior scientist at the RSPB said: “Tracking the birds and finding their wintering sites may be the last chance to save them. We won’t be able to help them until we at least know where they go and the threats and pressures they are facing.

“The low numbers and difficult terrain in Palmyra make this species particularly difficult to work with but its resilience so far suggests it has a future. Other birds have been brought back from the brink and with the Syrian authorities backing our work we are hopeful that we can save this bird.”

Dr Gianluca Serra, Field Team Leader for BirdLife said: “Not only have we tagged the birds at last but we now have 13 ibis in Syria after the best breeding season yet. Our chances of saving this bird now seems more than just a dream.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rspb.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>