A critically endangered northern bald ibis was illegally shot in Italy earlier this month. According to Nature, the bird, a female named Goja, was the "poster bird" for a captive breeding project to reintroduce these birds to their native habitat in Europe, a region where they have been extinct in the wild for almost four centuries. Goja was the first of the captive raised birds that was taught to migrate by following ultralight aircraft to have successfully returned to the breeding grounds without assistance.
Goja's successes, including raising chicks and leading them on migration, had been used as a rally point for the value of the program. Even in death, it is hoped that she can continue to raise awareness of illegal hunting and its affect on migratory birds.
Northern Bald Ibis
Photo © Tony Hisgett