Officials at Şanlıurfa's Bald Ibis Reproduction Station implanted chips in bald ibises to monitor the daily activities of the endangered bird species. Founded in the city's Birecik district in 1977 by the Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, the station uses a satellite system to track approximately 200 bald ibises. During the spring, bald ibises are released into their natural habitat near the Euphrates River and then collected and caged in August for the winter.
Seen as a symbol of fertility in the region, the animals are given a special diet of fat-free mince, salt-free cheese, grated carrot and chicken feed. This year, 52 new baby bald ibises were born at the station. To identity their sexes, the directorate of nature protection and national parks have taken blood samples. To better analyze their flying patterns, daily activities and migration routes, chips have also been placed in the animals. "Due to the risk of extinction, the migration of bald ibises is now being closely followed. We protect them from predatory birds, wild animals and humans. When conditions are appropriate and safe, we release them and trace their migration routes," said Yüksel, the head of the provincial nature protection and national parks directorate.
Known as "geronticus eremita" among the science community, bald ibises are protected in Şanlıurfa and Morocco. Found mostly around the Euphrates River, bald ibises generally subsist on reptiles and insects.