Australian White Ibis
The Australia White Ibis (Threskiornis Molucca) is a species of waterbird that is native to Australia. The species population is currently listed as stable and of least concern on the ICUN Red List. This species preferred habitat includes swamps, floodplains, and grasslands where the birds commonly forage for terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. Australian White Ibis (AWI) make an important contribution to wetland ecology by aerating the soil and acting as a control for invertebrate populations. In response to natural inland wetlands being degraded by agricultural water extraction, habitat loss and periods of harsh drought, AWI numbers have decreased across their natural range. However, in some urban parks and gardens numbers of AWI have increased as a result of access to urban waterbodies and artificial food sources including direct and incidental feeding by people and open landfills.
At some locations such as Lake Annan, numbers of Australian White Ibis have been confirmed to increase significantly–particularly during the breeding season (generally July to December). This can result in negative impacts on the local environment, with damage and removal of native vegetation, erosion, increased noise, build-up of faecal material and the associated odour.
Like all native Australian fauna in New South Wales, the AWI is protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974; it is an offence to interfere with or harm native wildlife. To manage the population and the overall impacts that Australian White Ibis have on residents and the local environment at Lake Annan, Council adopted a Management Plan for this species in 2013. The Management Plan is subject to formal licence approval and review by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Under the approved plan, Camden Council Officers routinely monitor and report on the Ibis population at Lake Annan recording adult, juvenile, nestling, egg, and nest counts. Population control measures that are specific to this location include regular egg oiling and removal of a portion of abandoned nests.
What can the community do to help? We can all help by safely and securely disposing of rubbish and food scraps in bins that prevent access, and by not feeding wild birds or other wildlife at home or when visiting public recreation areas.
For more information, please contact Council’s Sustainability Team on 4654 7777.
Australian Museum. 2020. “Australian White Ibis”, Australian White Ibis - The Australian Museum, viewed 1 August, 2023
Camden Council. 2013. “Management Plan for Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis Molucca), Microsoft Word - Lake Annan Ibis Management Plan approved (nsw.gov.au)
Camden Council. 2019. “Management Plan Addendum for Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis Molucca), Microsoft Word - Lake Annan Ibis Management Plan approved (nsw.gov.au)
Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW. 2006. “Wild about Ibis; Living with Urban Wildlife”, Wild about ibis: living with urban wildlife (nsw.gov.au), viewed 1 August 2023
IUCN. 2022. “The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Version 2022.2”, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, viewed 1 August, 2023
NSW Government, “National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974”, National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 No 80 - NSW Legislation