Plan Your Visit
Find out how to make the most of your trip and book tickets here.
Book a Hotel!
Find the perfect place to stay during your visit to Edinburgh and the Zoo!
Become a Member
Our membership package comes with lots of benefits including a year's unlimited free entry to both our parks!
You can join by post, phone or even today on the website.
|Common Name:||Waldrapp ibis||Family:||Threskiornithidae|
|Latin Name:||Geronticus eremita||Diet:||Omnivore|
|Native To:||Africa||Social Unit:||Group|
|IUCN Red List Status:||Critically Endangered|
Waldrapp ibis at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo’s group of Waldrapp ibis breed regularly in their ‘cliff-top’ nests. Look out for birds sitting up in their nest boxes and performing courtship bows from March, and the grey-headed youngsters fledging from the nests from May.
Throughout the year you may see the birds using their long curved beaks to probe the soil for bugs and grubs, and on a sunny day you may see the birds opening their wings and tilting towards the sun in order to sun-bathe.
Where they can be found at Edinburgh Zoo
Waldrapp ibis enclosure, in the south-west corner of the Zoo by the lower duck ponds
Waldrapp ibis in the wild
Waldrapp ibis (Geronticus eremita) are a large glossy black species found nesting on cliff faces and foraging on open grasslands. They are also known as Northern bald ibis. This species has experienced a severe decline in numbers over the past 30 years, and wild Waldrapp ibis are still in a lot of trouble.
The majority of wild birds are found in Morocco, where they have a degree of protection, and the population there appears to have stabilised. However, this species was once found right around the Mediterranean sea and up into the Alps. There are also tiny remnant populations in Turkey and Syria.
Waldrapp ibis are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat which can be assigned to a species before it becomes extinct in the wild entirely.
There is an active reintroduction plan for the Waldrapp ibis. However, it is a long and complicated process, as the Waldrapp was migratory across most of its range. Any reintroduction requires the released birds to be taught to migrate.
Find out more about the reintroduction and attempts to teach a migratory tradition to the birds at the Waldrapp Team web site!
Breeding programme category: EEP
IUCN Red List category: Critically Endangered
View our other animal profiles: