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Mortality incident in northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita in Morocco in May 1996

  • Jamal Touti (a1), Fatima Oumellouk (a1), Christopher G. R. Bowden (a2), James K. Kirkwood and Ken W. Smith (a2)...


In May 1996 there was an acute and dramatic mortality incident in the last remaining wild population of northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita. This species is Critically Endangered, comprising only about 250 wild individuals, which occur on the Atlantic coast of southern Morocco. Over a period of 10 days a total of 38 adult birds (aged 1 year or more) died or disappeared. Deaths, probably secondary to the loss of one or both parent birds, also occurred subsequently in six estlings and one recent fledgling. The incident appeared to involve no other species. This paper describes the pattern of the incident, and pathological, microbiological and toxicological investigations and findings. Several features point to a toxic aetiology but the cause of the incident has not been established.


Corresponding author

Institute of Zoology, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, UK.


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Mortality incident in northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita in Morocco in May 1996

  • Jamal Touti (a1), Fatima Oumellouk (a1), Christopher G. R. Bowden (a2), James K. Kirkwood and Ken W. Smith (a2)...


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