White ibis survey summary reports

White ibis survey - summary report 2015

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped spread the invite for the 2015 Australian white ibis (Threskiornis molucca) community survey. A total of 25,228 white ibis were reported in the survey conducted on Sunday 11th of October.

NSW & ACT 8579 176 186
Qld 15982 169 87
Vic 441 17 17
SA 98 15 10
WA 76 8 7
NT 52 4 4
Total 25228 389 311

Ibis foraging

White ibis foraging Photo: T Keene


In NSW the majority of ibis were reported within the Sydney region (see below). Yet reports were received from Batemans Bay in the south, to Tweed Heads in the north and Parkes in the west.

  • Sydney region - 5694 ibis
  • Northern (coast to dividing range) - 1511 ibis
  • Southern (coast to dividing range) - 336 ibis    
  • Western (west of dividing range) - 578 ibis   

The NPWS has been banding nestling and adult ibis for ten years in conjunction with universities and land managers to improve our understanding of white ibis behaviour in the urban environment. The annual community survey provides an ideal opportunity to locate banded birds to aid our understanding of the habitat use and movements of white ibis. During the recent survey 33 banded or wing-tagged white ibis were observed. Large numbers of banded birds were seen in Centennial Park and the City parks e.g. Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Garden, which have been banding sites. Yet ibis are highly mobile and banded birds were also observed at sites across Sydney (e.g. Eastern Creek and Lake Annan) and in Wollongong and Gosford. Additional reports have been received throughout the year of banded and wing-tagged birds moving to Lake Macquarie. 

NSW summary

2008 9942
2009 11147
2010 8957
2011 9429
2012 7928
2013 9212
2014 7373
2015 8579

Juvenile white ibis

Juvenile white ibis, indicated by the feathered black head, fitted with a wingtag
(007-yellow) within the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Photo: J Plaza/RBGDT


Summary by: Dr John Martin, Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands.

Page last updated: 30 November 2016