New endangered giant ibis found in Cambodia


Share post:

Jubilant conservationists expressed hope Tuesday for the survival of the critically-endangered giant ibis after a nest of the bird species was discovered in a previously unknown habitat in northeastern Cambodia.

New endangered giant ibis found in Cambodia
A giant ibis walks in a pond in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, in this picture taken
on March 29, 2012. Experts say there are only around 345 of the birds
left in the world [Credit: AFP]

Habitat loss and poaching has pushed the giant ibis to the edge of extinction, with around only 345 of the reclusive creatures — distinctive for their bald heads and long beaks — left anywhere in the world, 90 percent of them in Cambodia.

A farmer in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province discovered the nesting site a few kilometres inland in the biodiverse Mekong Flooded Forest area last month, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a statement.

An inspection team from the WWF later saw an adult bird sitting on the nest with two eggs.

“The discovery of the giant ibis nest on the Mekong is extremely significant because it provides hope for the species’ survival,” said Sok Ko, Forestry Administration official and Bird Nest Project officer with WWF.

The giant ibis — or Thaumatibis Gigantea — was listed on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1994 as critically endangered, the group said, with its habitat limited to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

“For giant ibis to survive… it is key to secure breeding groups in more places. This one nest is part of securing the future for the species,” Gerry Ryan, WWF’s Research Technical Advisor, told AFP.

The group warned that threats remain as the species’ lowland forest habitats continue to be drained and stripped for agriculture, while its eggs are sometimes poached by villagers.

But conservation efforts in the Mekong area where the nest was discovered have brought some reward, Ryan added.

“Giant ibises don’t like to be disturbed and are very shy — they tend to live far from human settlements,” he said.

“The presence of Cambodia’s national bird is further proof that efforts in managing and conserving the area and its biodiversity are worthwhile and having an effect.”

Source: AFP [August 20, 2013]



Related articles

West Antarctica ice sheet existed 20 million years earlier than previously thought

The results of research conducted by professors at UC Santa Barbara and colleagues mark the beginning of a...

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth’s mantle

Deep inside the Earth exist pockets of water, but the liquid there isn't like the water on the...

New maps show shrinking wilderness being ignored at our peril

Maps of the world's most important wilderness areas are now freely available online following a University of Queensland...

Growth rings on rocks give up North American climate secrets

Scientists have found a new way to tease out signals about Earth's climatic past from soil deposits on...

Ancient farming techniques could help mitigate climate change effects

High technology is being deployed to uncover long-forgotten irrigation systems and other features concealed in landscapes that farmers...

Researchers seek help digitizing decades-old observations of African trees

Koen Hufkens is trying to solve a scientific mystery, and he's asking for the public's help to do...

New species of giant Amazonian fish reported

A new species of the giant fish arapaima has been discovered from the central Amazon in Brazil, raising...

Scientists measure extent of recovery for critically endangered black abalone

One critically endangered species of smooth-shelled abalone is making a comeback in certain parts of its range along...