The waldrapp ibis is one of the most endangered birds in the world. The Souss-Massa National Park in Morocco and surrounding area is vitally important for this species survival as the entire population breed within this area. The main threat to this species is the increase in leisure tourism and the subsequent disturbance to waldrapp ibis nesting sites and feeding areas. A National Species Plan was drawn up and one of the priorities was the satellite tagging and colour ringing of some birds to discover more on this species’ seasonal movements and area use outside of the national park.
In July 2011, two waldrapp ibis were fitted with satellite tags, one of which was funded by Dublin Zoo. The Dublin Zoo tag was placed an adult bird (believed to be female) named Aylal, which means bird in Amazigh (north African language). A colour ring with letters was also placed on her leg (see picture). By coincidence, the second bird is the offspring of Aylal. The satellite tags are providing essential data on the waldrapp ibis movements and also how parents and offspring move in relation to one another. To keep up to date with the movements of these tagged birds please check out this blog:
Photo by Imad Cherkaoui