Wild Chronicles heads to the deserts of Syria, where a National Geographic researcher has made a startling discovery: the northern bald ibis, feared extinct in Syria for more than 70 years, has returned. But the small, fragile population in danger. Now, a dedicated team of scientists, Bedouins, and former hunters are racing against time to help the "Arab phoenix" regain its place.

  1. Where is the traditional habitat of the northern bald ibis?

    • Answer

      The bird's historic range is across northern Africa and the Middle East.

  2. How many bald ibises are left in the wild today?

    • Answer

      Only about 500 bald ibises remain in the wild.

  3. How many bald ibises did Gianluca and other researchers discover in Syria?

    • Answer

      The seven birds found by researchers in Syria form a complete breeding colony.

  4. How do sheep and people interact with the local ibis population in Syria?

    • Answer

      They compete for resources. Sheep eat much of the desert's vegetation, while the local human population burns it for fuel.

  5. Why don't Gianluca and his team attach radio transmitters to the ibises?

    • Answer

      The Syrian government does not allow it.

Arab
Noun

people and culture native to the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and Western Asia.

Bedouin
noun, adjective

people and culture native to the Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, and North Africa.

critically endangered
Noun

level of conservation between "endangered" and "extinct in the wild."

Noun

area of land that receives no more than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year.

extinct
Adjective

no longer existing.

fragile
Noun

delicate or easily broken.

population
Noun

total number of people or organisms in a particular area.