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This diagram consists of a relational graph and three scales.

The graph shows relationships between social, technological, informational, and ecological elements which make up the anthropogenic ecosystem in which the bird is becoming wild again. It is divided into four quadrants. Top left are elements shaping the public’s understanding of and relationship to the bird. The top right comprises elements generating real-time data flows through which the birds are monitored and the rewilding project makes sense of itself. Bottom left are discontiguous locales connected and adapted to make room for the bird. Bottom right are institutional networks that make up the project, provide funding, and negotiate scientific value.

The scales show the spacial, monetary, and temporal dimensions of many of the elements that make up the relational graph. Thus, the scales provide another way of understanding these elements.

Download a PDF (2.5MB) version of this map
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

The Northern Bald Ibis (geronticus eremita) is a migratory bird with a historic habitat in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa and a rich cultural history dating back to ancient Egypt. Its current global status on the ICUN’s Red List is “endangered”.

In Europe, the bird was breeding north of the Alps (in Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Austria) and spending winters in the south. It became extinct around 1621, due to over-hunting and adverse climate conditions ("little ice age"). In the 1950s, birds from a Moroccan colony were transferred to zoos and bird sanctuaries in Europe, held in captivity, and fed through the winter.

In 2013, after 11 years of pre-studies, a project led by Johannes Fritz began to rewild the Northern Bald Ibis in Europe. The majority of birds have been equipped with GPS trackers and are monitored in real-time. In the first 9 years, the number of rewilded birds rose from zero to almost two hundred.

According to current models, at least 357 birds are necessary for the population to be self-sustainable. This number is projected to be reached by 2028, at which point the infrastructure mapped here is expected to be transformed significantly.

This map represents the extent of the infrastructure in the early 2020s. It was realised by Vladan Joler, Gordan Savičić and Felix Stalder in the framework of the research project Latent Spaces: Performing Ambiguous Data, ZHdK https://latentspaces.zhdk.ch

Thanks to Johannes Fritz, Helena Wehner and the entire Waldrappteam.