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Austria: Animals – Northern Bald Ibis and Brown Bear

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The Northern Bald Ibis belongs to the ibis family. It is a social bird who seeks out members of its species to form colonies consisting of over one hundred members. The Northern Bald Ibis was threatened by extinction for a long time; however, the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Grunau in the Almtal valley launched a successful programme to reintroduce the species to the wild. For the first time in over 350 years Northern Bald Ibises migrated from Central Europe for the winter.

The Brown Bear is one of the largest land predators in the world. Considered a potential threat to humans, its numbers have been decimated, and in several regions it has even been hunted to extinction. Austria is the only country in the German-speaking area that is home to a group of Brown Bears; only a small number of specimens occasionally roam other Alpine regions. The Brown Bear is often represented in heraldry and is featured in many fairy tales, fables, literary works and films.

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