Thursday, November 07, 2013

Cambodia records 973 critically endangered white-shoulder ibis: survey, 2013-11-07

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has recorded some 973 white-shoulder ibis in its wild, making the country the stronghold for this critically endangered species, the conservationists group said Thursday.

BirdLife International and its partners including Cambodian Forestry Administration, People Resources and Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Worldwide Fund for Nature, implemented a coordinated survey of 59 white-shouldered ibis roosts at sites across Cambodia.

The consortium launched four monthly censuses of this species over the wet season and the September counts produced a staggering 973 individuals, the group said in a press release. "These results once again confirm that Cambodia is the stronghold for the white-shouldered ibis and that it contains the most globally significant population of this critically endangered species,"the release said.

It added that the result followed nearly a decade's conservation work by international and local NGOs and government agencies. "Conservation actions, such as nest protection to improve chick survival, may have contributed to this increasing number but the population increases observed are mainly due to increased survey effort and better knowledge of roost locations,"it said.

Many of the roost locations are either outside of protected areas or in threatened protected areas and the future of this species is far from certain, said Hugh Wright, an expert on this species from the University of Cambridge. "Many of these birds are at risk of losing their habitat from imminent changes in land use and currently more than 79 percent of the birds were censused on roosts outside the boundaries of legally protected areas,"he said.

The counts have identified western Siem Pang Proposed Protected Forest as the most important site for this species globally, with 451 individuals -- equal to 41 percent of the global population -- followed by Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary with 298 individuals.

However, both of these sites are threatened by Economic Land Concessions which will destroy key nesting and foraging habitats for this species, he said.

Other key sites in the national census include Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear province, Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province and the Mekong Flooded Forest in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

With a global population of only between 1,114 and 1,249 birds, Cambodia could hold as much as 97 percent of the world's white- shouldered ibises and the country is of vital importance for the species'conservation, the press release said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

even cambodia wildlife need home. they need help with animal rights, too. i love all animals, maybe except, snakes, shark and crocodile which i don't care about, period!