Zoo becomes natural habitat for bald ibises
The studies carried out in the Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanical Park in the Darıca district of the northwestern province of Kocaeli have yielded results for the reproduction of endangered bald ibis, and four babies were born in the last five years.
Most of the bald ibis population in the world is in Turkey and Morocco and a small group can be found in Syria. In order to increase their population, four bald ibises were given to the zoo in 2015 by the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry. Now the number of birds is nine in the zoo.
An adult bald ibis died in the zoo due to old age at 201. Now studies are underway to get new offspring from the nine existing birds.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Faruk Yalçın Zoo veterinarian Ezgi Çelik said that it is a rich botanical center with more than 400 plant species and more than 8,000 plant population, and that there are more than 250 animal species and approximately 3,000 animal populations in the zoo.
Çelik, who stated that they are home to endangered species such as bald ibis and Egyptian vulture, added, “We currently have nine bald ibis. There were two bald ibis for many years. In 2015, four bald ibis were delivered by the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry. We got four babies from our bald ibis by providing appropriate breeding conditions.
We lost an old bald ibis in 2017. We could not get babies at the end of April this year because the weather got hot and suddenly cooled down. The animals could not adapt to this situation and we could not get fertile eggs. We think that it will be more productive in terms of offspring next year.”
Çelik said that the bald ibis colonies can be found in the world in Morocco and Turkey, adding that zoos in Europe and America are home to over 1,500 bald ibis.
Çelik stated that they aim to contribute to the population of bald ibis by taking offspring, and said, “We plan to perfectly standardize the conditions here, get a fixed number of babies every year and work in partnership with the production station in Birecik district of Şanlıurfa. When we can get individuals here and raise these animals at a high level of welfare, we will contact them. We aim to improve the welfare conditions of our bald ibis, provide them a healthy and peaceful environment and to be able to return them to their nature by increasing their population in Turkey in the future.”
She said that those who come to the zoo watch this species, which is in danger of extinction, with interest, and that they aim to increase awareness by training them.
Checking changes in behavior
Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanical Park Poultry Division head caretaker Mesut Saya said that they are planning the nests and feeds of bald ibis by working in partnership with the European Zoological Gardens and Aquariums Association.
Stating that they fulfill the necessary conditions for nesting when their breeding season comes, Saya said that the bald ibis started to nest here since 2016 and they have gained four new animals since then.
Saya added they ensure the natural habitat for these in the zoo, constantly carry out their health checks and control the changes in the behavior of bald ibis.