email a friend
printable version
CR
Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered C2a(ii) 
Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i,ii); D1+2 
Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i,ii); D 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2010 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Critically Endangered
2005 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass 1202 g

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 590 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 20,500 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 10 good
Number of locations 2-5 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 200-249 good Estimated 2006
Population trend Decreasing medium -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Largest subpopulation 51-250 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8 - - -
Population justification: In Souss-Massa National Park and Tamri, Morocco, 113 pairs (i.e. 226 mature individuals) nested, out of 319 adults in 2013, and produced 148 fledged young (Oubrou and El Bekkay 2013). In 2011, at least 100 pairs produced at least 130 fledged young, matching the breeding success of 2010, when 105 pairs fledged 138 young (R. Grimmett in litt. 2011). After the breeding season the total number of birds in the western population may have exceeded 500 in 2011-2012 (IAGNBI 2012), but most recently has been evaluated as 443 individuals (SEO/BirdLife Morocco 2013). Only a single mature female returned to Syria in 2013 (C. Bowden in litt. 2013), and 2011 was the last successful breeding when a single breeding pair fledged two young (R. Grimmett in litt. 2011). The Turkish population now numbers around 100 individuals (IAGNBI 2012), but these managed birds are excluded from the total estimate.
Trend justification: An unquantified decline is indirectly estimated to have occurred over the last three generations. The Moroccan population has been stable since 1980, however Serra (2003) provides reasonable evidence, including testimonies of local people, that in Syria the species was still common 20 years ago and possibly quite abundant 30 years ago. Colonies of several hundred probably existed up until 1980. Although the Turkish population may be now recovering to levels it was at ten or more years ago, this heavily managed population is excluded from the overall trends.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Algeria Native Extant   Yes    
Cape Verde Vagrant Extant        
Egypt Vagrant Extinct        
Eritrea Native Extant   Yes    
Ethiopia Native Extinct   Yes    
Germany Vagrant Extant        
Iraq Native Possibly Extinct        
Israel Native Extinct Yes   Yes  
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Mali Vagrant Extant        
Mauritania Vagrant Extant        
Montenegro Vagrant Extant        
Morocco Native Extant       Yes
Portugal Vagrant Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes  
Senegal Native Extinct Yes      
Serbia Vagrant Extant        
Somalia Vagrant Extant        
Spain Vagrant Extant        
Sudan Native Extinct   Yes    
Syria Native Extant Yes      
Turkey Reintroduced Extant Yes      
Western Sahara Vagrant Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Morocco Oued Matil: Ksob site factsheet
Morocco Parc National de Souss-Massa and Aglou site factsheet
Morocco Tamri and Imsouane site factsheet
Morocco Tarhazoute site factsheet
Saudi Arabia National Wildlife Research Center and environs, Taif site factsheet
Syria Tadmur desert and mountains site factsheet
Turkey Southern Euphrates Valley and Birecik Plains site factsheet
Yemen Al-Kadan area site factsheet
Yemen Ta'izz wadis site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land major non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland major non-breeding
Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) Caves suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Negligible declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Geronticus eremita. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Threskiornithidae (Ibises, Spoonbills)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 200-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 590 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species