Northern bald ibis conservation

The Northern bald ibis was once spread over large parts of North Africa, the Middle East and even southern Europe. It was already extinct in Europe a few hundred years ago and has since disappeared from one area after another. The threats to the species are mainly loss of habitat and extensive illegal hunting. Today, the only stable population of eremitibis is found in Morocco, but thanks to active conservation efforts, the species has now slowly begun to regain parts of its former range in Europe. In 2018, the hermit ibis was upgraded from critically endangered to "only" critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

What we do at Nordens Ark

One of the projects fighting to save the Northern bald ibis is Proyecto Eremita. The project works to bring the species back to Spain through breeding and release. Nordens Ark supports the project by sending Northern bald ibises born in the park for release. In 2021, Nordens Ark sent its first 10 young ibises to Proyecto Eremita in Andalucía, Spain. The ibises were released into the wild and directly joined a group of wild ibises in the area. All went well and in the following year, a total of 27 pairs bred in the area, compared to just one pair in 2008–2010. Also the number of fledglings reached the highest numbers so far since 2008 - fantastic news!

News from the project – March 2024

During the winter, four of last year's chicks were transported to Spain to be released into the wild. It is the second time Nordens Ark has sent ibises to the project, which has proven to be very successful. It has gone so well that after this year's releases there will be a break to allow the birds to establish themselves properly. It is very funny when our efforts to save a species make a difference!

In collaboration with

Proyecto Eremita