International Advisory Group for the Northern Bald Ibis
IAGNBI was created on 12th March 1999 at the “International workshop on a strategy for the rehabilitation of the Northern Bald Ibis” held in Agadir, Morocco. The primary objectives of the committee were to ensure international co-ordination and co-operation on Northern Bald Ibis projects.
The Northern Bald Ibis (NBI) Geronticus eremita is classed as Critically Endangered by IUCN, with just over 100 breeding pairs left in the wild, and most of the top conservation priorities relate to in-situ threats in Morocco and Syria. There is a significant captive population, presenting the theoretical potential for reintroduction to parts of the former range.
Due to the social complexity of the species and a variety of other factors, early release attempts were unsuccessful, and the actual potential for reintroduction has proved to be very difficult. However, there has been very significant progress towards this over the past ten years. There is now a proven (if highly intensive) method developed for establishing a sedentary population, but most areas where the species occurred would have had migratory populations, and progress with developing a way to reestablish migratory behaviour is still more complex. Less intensive options are also being tested.
There is a very diverse set of organisations and interests in the species, all of whom have relevant expertise right across the spectrum. These include in-situ conservationists, government bodies, NGOs, zoo and captive experts, as well as behavioural biologists. Focusing and coordinating efforts between the diverse players involved, and at the same time keeping the conservation priorities for the species firmly in mind has been the key objective of the International Advisory Group for Northern Bald Ibis (IAGNBI).
IAGNBI produces newsletters, holds meetings, produces very detailed meeting reports and has contributed heavily to the recently produced Species Action Plan. IAGNBI is represented by an elected committee.