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Survey finds numbers up for rare ibis

Survey finds numbers up for rare ibis

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Several critically endangered white-shouldered ibis roost in Stung Treng province.

THE first nationwide count of critically endangered white-shouldered Ibis has revealed their numbers have remained higher than previously thought.

Hugh Wright, a PhD student at the University of East Anglia in Britain, has been leading the research. He said: "This is the first time we have achieved a reliable minimum figure for the population size of white-shouldered Ibis in Cambodia. The recent count means the population is almost certainly larger than the IUCN estimate of 50 to 249 mature individuals; however, there is a good chance that the population is even larger than 310 because we expect to find more roost sites and count more birds."

The precise reasons for the population's decline in the past few decades remains something of a mystery, according to BirdLife International, which backed the study. This breeding season, the research team will examine why nests fail and how they can best be protected.

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