The South African Bird Ringing Unit

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Longevity record of the African Sacred Ibis

Dane Paijmans(2016-08-11)

After recieving an interesting African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) recovery, I decided to take a look at the longevity records of this species. The record calculated is an old one from 1974 (Ring: 52601770). The individual was initially ringed on December 20th, 1952 and recovered on January 26th, 1974. This individual was found at Aasvoelkrans, Rustenburg, 134 km from its intial ringing/ hatching site; Modderdam, Benoni. As this individual was ringed as a chick it would not have been much older than the calculated record (21y 1m 12d). The death of this individual was caused by a collision with a wire so it may have still reached an older age if it had died naturally. The next oldest individual reached 16 years old, with a number of other records exceeding 15 years. As a large number of chicks have been ringed over the years through colour ringing projects (such as the Robben Island Colour Ringing Project) there may be many more "old" individuals still out there waiting to be seen. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.

The great photo included with this article is accredited to F Rautenbach and was linked from BirdPix.
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  Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Pelecaniformes
       Family:  Threskiornithidae
             Genus: Threskiornis
  21 years (Roberts 7)
  21.11 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Threskiornis aethiopicus 52601770
  Common name   Sample size
 African Sacred Ibis   Ringed: 8836  Retrapped: 98
  Recovered: 343  Total: 9277

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