November 2013. A record number of White-shouldered Ibis have been recorded in the wild in Cambodia, making the known global population larger than previous studies suggested. These results once again confirm that Cambodia is the stronghold for this Critically Endangered species.
973 birds counted
The count of 973 follows nearly a decade's conservation work by international and local NGOs and government agencies. Since coordinated counts began in 2009, the known population for this species has been increasing every year, partly as a result of conservation actions, such as nest protection to improve chick survival, and partly due to increased survey effort and better knowledge of roost locations.
Land use changes and lack of protection a major issue
The future of this species is far from certain. Many of these birds are at risk of losing their habitat from imminent changes in land use and currently over three-quarters of the birds were censused on roosts outside the boundaries of legally protected areas. The counts have identified Western Siem Pang Proposed Protected Forest as the most important site.