Research and species conservation in symbiotic interaction is the focus and expertise of the Waldrappteam company.
Species conservation projects offer unique framework conditions for research and, conversely, they can also benefit directly from research results. The Waldrappteam successfully practices this symbiotic interaction in the context of the reintroduction of the Northern Bald Ibis.
The Waldrappteam is in charge of the management of the second European LIFE-project for the reintroduction of the Northern Bald Ibis. It is also responsible for the reintroduction of juvenile birds within the framework of human-led migrations.
The team uses the human-led migrations and the comprehensive monitoring of wild birds by GPS transmitters, for successful research within the framework of international cooperation. The main research focus includes bird flight, bird migration, ecology, behaviour and history of Northern Bald Ibises. For the research on handicaps of animal biologging, the Waldrappteam was awarded the Animal Welfare Prize of the Forster-Steinberg Foundation in 2022. Meanwhile, the company even built its own wind tunnel to investigate related issues with trained animals under standardised experimental conditions.
Tracing the fate of the Northern Bald Ibis over five millennia: An interdisciplinary approach to the extinction and recovery of an iconic bird species.
Fritz J & Janák J (2022). Animals
This study traces the history of the Northern Bald Ibis through time with a particular focus on the present and ancient Egypt, where the bird was of cultural and religious significance, which it probably achieved due to its natural affinity for cultivated areas. The study further investigates the possible reasons for three disappearance events throughout time and their link towards human impact and climatic changes.
On the road to self - sustainability: reintroduced migratory European northern bald ibises Geronticus eremita still need management interventions for population viability.
Drenske S, Radchuk V, Scherer C, Esterer C, Kowarik I, Fritz J & Kramer-Schadt S (2023). ORYX.
Quantification of Foraging Areas for the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) in the Northern Alpine Foothills: A random forest model fitted with data fusion of optical and actively sensed earth observation data.
Wehner H, Huchler K, Fritz J, et al.(2022). Remote Sensing, 14, 1-13..
Using the GPS positions of foraging Northern Bald Ibises during the breeding season in 2021, the authors identified habitats with a high foraging suitability. They characterized them by seven satellite-based remote sensing parameters to define a suitability index. Subsequently, the suitability of feeding sites throughout the northern Alpine foothills were modelled. This study is of particular importance for the reintroduction project, since the suitability map allows the identification of sites for management and translocation measures in the future.