Syrian Ibis

  • 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?

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

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

      Only about 500 bald ibises remain in the wild.

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

      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?

      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?

      The Syrian government does not allow it.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    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."

    desert Noun

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

    Encyclopedic Entry: desert
    extinct Adjective

    no longer existing.

    fragile Noun

    delicate or easily broken.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.