Wald Rapp revives the lost migratory Tradition of the Bald Ibis

Wald Rapp revives the lost migratory Tradition of the Bald Ibis

Overhunting and loss of habitat have been the major reasons for the large-scale extinction of Northern Bald Ibis, a migratory bird which was once seen in large numbers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland in Europe.However, some of their colonies still exist in Morocco, Syria and Turkey .Johannes Fritz, an Austrian biologist, initiated a human led migration and conservation project, named Waldrapp to transport these birds to places with food availability and congenial habitat during harsh winters of Europe.Fritz was successful in taking northern bald ibises from zoos and imprinting them, in effect becoming their foster parent to teach them a new migratory route to Tuscany in Central Italy from Austria. In 2014, after more than ten years of research and feasibility planning, Fritz, together with partners from Germany and Italy (the Parco Natura Viva Garda Zoological Park) received funding from the European Union for a Life+ Project to be held from 2014 to 2019. The aim of the project is to create a European population of at least 120 ibises that would migrate autonomously from Germany to Italy.

It was not an easy task for Fitz as he geared to do this project. He says it was a film which reminded him of taking up this project. Now he plans to make it a bigger project by encouraging the migrating habits of these birds. By becoming foster parents he wants to give Bald Ibis a chance of getting a home once again. Thus, the result is worth the efforts.