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for Northern Bald Ibis


Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Ciconiiformes

Suborder: Ciconiae

Family: Threskiornithidae

Subfamily: Threskiornithinae

Genus: Geronticus

Species: Geronticus eremita (L. 1758)


The Northern Bald Ibis is a monotypic species with two genetically distinct populations, having just one congeneric species in southern Africa; the Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus). Although there are no major morphological distinctions between the Eastern and Western populations, there is evidence (Pegoraro et al. 2001, Broderick et al. 2001) of a genetic distinction between them, and it should be noted that the majority of the very substantial captive population, including the birds used for releases in Europe, are of Western (Moroccan) origin. A comprehensive genetic study is underway.