IUCN ROWA and Birdlife Middle East join forces to save the Bald Ibis

22 March 2009 | News story

IUCN Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with BirdLife International - Middle East to enhance the conservation status of the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis colony breeding in the Syrian Palmyra desert. Within this agreement IUCN ROWA and BirdLife ME will jointly coordinate and implement the Northern Bald Ibis Conservation Program in the Middle East & Turkey. This project is implemented in close coordination with the General Commission for Badia Management & Development in Syria.

This cooperation aims to accomplish a number of objectives concerning the protection and monitoring of the Ibises, Satellite tagging and tracking of the bird and the supplementation. It is worth noting that the Northern Bald Ibis (NBI) Geronticus eremita is listed in the IUCN Red List 2006 as a “Critically Endangered” species on a global scale.

The ibis tagging work is being undertaken by a collaboration of the Syrian Desert Commission, IUCN ROWA, Birdlife Middle East and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds supported by funds from the Italian Government (DGCS), RSPB, the Dutch Government (through the Netherlands Embassy in Damascus), Prince Albert Foundation and Petro Canada Inc.