Nature conservation

Native animals

Australian white ibis community survey

The Australian white ibis, Threskionis molucca, is a highly visible native water bird in New South Wales. Prior to the 1970s, the white ibis was rarely sighted in urban areas and did not breed in the Sydney region but followed the non-permanent waters of inland lakes and rivers. Due to extensive droughts and changes in water regimes they have sought refuge in coastal wetlands. White ibis have adapted well to the constant water and food supply available in urban environments and they are now a common site in our parks where they feed on invertebrates (beetle larvae etc.), crustaceans (yabbies etc.) and our handouts (bread etc.).

Since 2003, we have been running the community survey where we ask members of the public to tell us about their white ibis sightings.

How many are there? Help us find out!

Leg bands and wing tags

Thanks for participating in the annual community survey of the Australian white ibis population across Australia. This year the survey is on 26 October 2014; please note that counts made a few days earlier or after the 20th are accepted.

We welcome all counts, whether you travel to the local wetland or park where you have seen white ibis or if you coincidentally observe white ibis and conduct a count. Please provide as many details as possible using the below form. Information about white ibis with bands or tags is particularly useful as white ibis have been observed to move long distances e.g. from Victoria to Papua New Guinea.

This surveys aims to improve our understanding of the distribution and abundance of the Australian white ibis across NSW and we are working with our neighbouring States and Territories to census the national population. This will help us to develop conservation practices for these birds.

Australian white ibis sighting form


Information submitted on this form, including any personal details, will be a matter of public record and will be stored in the OEH records system. You can find out more about how OEH handles the personal information it collects online by reading our privacy policy. By submitting this form, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information in accordance with this policy.
Page last updated: 17 October 2014