Micke Grove Zoo

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Conserving waldrapp ibises at Micke Grove Zoo


In 2009, 2.2 waldrapp ibis (Geronticus eremita) were donated to Micke Grove Zoo (MGZ) from another zoo. The MGZ constructed the walk-in Gardner Mediterranean Aviary (GMA) in the early 1990s to primarily house these birds. During the first few months the Ibis did not seem too motivated to fly. Neither pair had successfully nested at the other facility in the preceding years.

After arrival at MGZ’s GMA, both pairs built nests laying three eggs each. Of these eggs, two were viable and hatched into one male and one female waldrapp ibis chicks. All these birds demonstrate flight and have been nesting during the breeding season.

 MGZ is keen on breeding waldrapp ibises in captivity. We have successfully bred them over the last few years, having a female chick hatch in 2013 and two male chicks hatch earlier this year. We have been recommended to receive two female ibises from Bronx Zoo sending them two of our females to avoid inbreeding.

The GMA is a walk-in aviary that provides the ibises with approximately 5,000 m3 of space that features a several trees, shrubs and bushes providing them with multiple locations to roost. A portion of the aviary is covered with shade cloth during the summer months. During the winter, heaters are located on multiple areas on the back wall of the exhibit, and lamps are attached on the ceiling mesh.

[Above and below] Gardner Mediterranean Aviary houses a variety of birds from the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan regions of the world.

The GMA’s successful breeding track record is due to a number of factors. The aviary provides its inhabitants with an access to the vertical dimension. It also has a water body with a small in-built waterfall. River rocks, pebbles and stones line the banks of the water body and reeds, and grasses provide a natural environment for the birds to explore and forage. Nestboxes and nesting areas have been setup at various locations and elevations which provide the birds with opportunities to build nests. The birds are provided with nesting material   during the breeding season. This year, three pairs of ibis built nests on specially designed elevated nesting platforms. These platforms motivated them to display nesting and breeding behaviors.

To find out more about the two waldrapp ibis chicks that hatched at the zoo in April 2015, CLICK HERE!

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[Above] Waldrapp ibises have bred at Micke Grove Zoo over the last four years.