Two endangered chicks hatch

TWO critically endangered birds hatched successfully at Colchester Zoo recently.

The pair of Waldrapp Ibis chicks successfully hatched at Colchester Zoo on June 12.

The Waldrapp Ibis has been listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List since 1994, the highest level possible next to total extinction or extinction in the wild.

The species has undergone a long term decline in numbers resulting in a very small population left in the wild.

The recent decline in numbers is due to a number of threats, including hunting, loss of habitat with disturbance of cliff breeding areas as well as over-grazing and firewood harvesting which has reduced the quality of habitat in feeding areas.

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The Waldrapp Ibis has an average lifespan of 24 years, egg laying in the species usually occurs from March to April with the female often laying 2 – 4 eggs. Populations of the species have been found in Morocco and Syria.

The parents of the two chicks both came to Colchester Zoo from Twycross Zoo in 2001, the male is aged 11 and the female aged ten.

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Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo’s Zoological Director, said: “Colchester Zoo is very pleased to have been able to contribute to the continued existence of this critically endangered species.

“In 2008 we bred a pair of chicks and we very much hope that these chicks continue to do well and we can ensure the survival of this species in the future.”

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