Giant ibis nests found

Source: Khmer Times

The giant ibis is Cambodia’s national bird. Supplied

Nineteen giant ibis nests have been found in the northern plains of Preah Vihear province, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In a statement released yesterday, WCS said its officials, along with Environment Ministry officers and community members, had discovered a total of 19 giant ibis nest in the Kulen Promtep and Chhep wildlife sanctuaries.

The giant ibis is critically endangered – with only about 200 mature adults in the country – and is also Cambodia’s national bird.

Thong Sokha, a team leader with WCS, said that 14 nests are located in the Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary and five in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.

A pair of giant ibis birds guard their nest. Supplied

“We are happy that we found these nests so we can protect them and ensure the conservation of this species for the future,” he said. “We expect to find new nests of this species in both sanctuaries because it is their breeding period between June and September.”

Mr Sokha added that the team is now working closely with local communities to monitor the recorded nests and search for new ones in both sanctuaries.

Normally, there are only two eggs in each nest and they will take about one month to hatch, said Mr Sokha. Each hatchling giant ibis then needs more than two more months to be able to fly.

The nest protection programme was started in 2002 by the Environment Ministry with financial and technical support from WCS.

Under the programme, community members are hired to guard nests until eggs hatch to protect them from predators or poachers.

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