PHNOM PENH (AFP) – 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.
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.