Northern bald ibis near extinction due to IS

picture source :

WEB DESK:  A rare bird may face extinction in Syria after the Islamic State after it destroyed the ancient city of Palmyra.

A breeding colony for the Northern bald ibis, a bird nearing extinction, was found near the city of Palmyra in 2002.

This species has undergone a long-term decline and now has an extremely small population.

Three birds held in captivity were abandoned last week after their guards fled the fighting. Officials have offered a reward of $1,000 for providing information about the location of a fourth bird.

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon told the correspondence from BBC that finding the missing female, called Zenobia, is crucial because she is the only bird who knows the migration routes to wintering grounds in Ethiopia and without her other caged birds cannot be released.

The BBC’s Jim Muir in Beirut says that the species was long forgotten in the region until seven birds were found breeding near Palmyra more than 10 years ago.

Despite being protected, their numbers lessen to just four birds. BBC’s correspondent says that this year only Zenobia made it back to the site.

picture source :

The fall of Palmyra came just days after IS captured the major Iraqi city of Ramadi.

IS militants have decimated several sites in Iraq; recently the ancient city of Nimrud, one of Iraq’s greatest archaeological treasures was destroyed.