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Title: Ecology and conservation of Giant Ibis in Cambodia
Author: Keo, Omaliss
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 471X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2008
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Giant Ibis Thaumatibis gigantea has declined in its South-East Asian range and is now classified as Critically Endangered; it is only known to breed in northern Cambodia. Understanding the species's feeding and nesting habitat selection and breeding ecology is important to determine possible causes of decline and identify conservation management measures. This study was carried out in northern Cambodia during the species's breeding and non-breeding seasons. Giant Ibis prefers to nest away from villages in deciduous forest near seasonal grasslands and pools where earthworms are abundant. It selects large tall trees for nesting, mainly Trach Diptercarpus intricatus and Tbeng Dipterocarpus obtusifolius. Nesting success was 50%. Main losses were due to civet or marten predation of nestlings. Placing predator baffles on trees improved nesting success by 50% and was very cheap. Feeding habitat selection was investigated using camera trapping (CTM) and probe-mark (pMM) methods. CTM was effective in capturing presence of Giant Ibis at pools. Both methods provided similar results, but PMM gives a better prediction. Giant Ibis prefers foraging further away from villages, at larger pools with larger mud areas where there are greater abundances of frogs and mole-crickets. Numerically, frogs are the species's main prey, followed by unidentified 'insects', mole-crickets, larvae and eels. Anthropogenic influences at pools do not directly affect Giant Ibises. However, fire reduces the abundance of mole-crickets, and draining reduces the abundance ofeels. This thesis demonstrates that management of feeding and breeding habitats will be vital for the Giant Ibis in future, as local human pressures increase. Maintaining water in pools throughout the dry season is crucial to maintaining prey abundance. Nest protection should increase productivity and playa key role in recovering numbers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available