Range and population size
Once, the Northern Bald Ibis was - alongside the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus - the Ibis with the northernmost range. There is historically confirmed evidence of Northern Bald Ibises in Central Europe in Switzerland, Austria (Mönchsberg near Salzburg, Schlossberg at Graz) and Southern Germany (Überlingen, Passau, Kehlheim). Presumably, the former range included also Northern Italy, Spain, Hungary, the Balkans and Greece.
Alongside the European Populations, Northern Bald Ibises also occured along the Mediterranean coast; until today, this species is or rather was a breeding bird in Morocco, Turkey and Syria.
In the first half of the 17th century, the Northern Bald Ibis disappeared in Europe, mainly due to the intense persecution - even of nestlings - by humans. The hunting of this species was strictly regularized with the dramatic decline of the populations, which, however, couldn´t compensate the negative population development.