It has been believed that the only remaining populations of Cambodia’s national bird, the Giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), were restricted to the northern regions of the country. However, we have just confirmed a population of the Critically Endangered bird in the Cardamom Mountains! We were very excited to record evidence of this incredibly rare bird in a camera trap survey a few years ago but an official survey of the bird in the area had not been conducted until now. Renowned ornithologists Frédéric Goes confirmed a population of at least 5-10 birds is extant in a valley in Sre Ambel.
Thankfully, these birds are in a habitat that is protected by Wildlife Alliance rangers. We will protect the area from egg collecting, wetland drainage for agriculture, deforestation, and habitat conversion by large-scale economic land concessions – the greatest threats facing Giant ibis. With global populations estimated to be only ~290 individuals, it is vital that we protect this population so that it continues to grow.