September 13, 2010
The discovery, which exceeds the previous estimate of 330 birds by 30 percent, was welcomed by conservationists.
"Discovering so many White-shouldered Ibis really improves our chances of saving the species," said Hugh Wright, a doctoral student at University of East Anglia and an expert on the species, in a statement. "During this record-breaking count, one of our main sites actually had far fewer birds than in previous surveys. I don’t believe these birds move very far and they were probably still present at that site. Considering previous counts, this means that the actual population could even exceed 500 birds."
White-shouldered Ibis. Photo: Hugh Wright/UEA
"The species is still very close to extinction so we are continuing our efforts to understand and protect the ibis," said Sum Phearun of the People Resources and Conservation Foundation, which together with the Cambodian Forestry Administration and General Department for Administration of Nature Conservation and Protection, BirdLife International in Indochina, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Worldwide Fund for Nature, conducted the survey.