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Poachers gun down iconic ibis

Chris Merkord

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Set back for researchers as illegal hunters kill rare birds.

The leading bird in a European project to develop a method to save a rare species of ibis was killed last weekend by illegal hunters in Italy. Goja, a northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), was on her way to wintering grounds in Tuscany when she was shot down.

The northern bald ibis has been extinct in the wild in Europe for nearly 400 years and is critically endangered in North Africa and the Middle East. A team led by biologist Johannes Fritz from the University of Vienna has been hand-raising the birds and teaching them how to migrate from breeding areas north of the Alps in Germany and Austria to wintering grounds in Italy. The project aims to learn more about the bird and about migration in general.

View the full article on Nature.com
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