Covid-19 Fueling an Uptick in Poaching: Three Critically Endangered Giant Ibis – Cambodia’s National Bird – killed in Protected Area

COVID-19 is giving poachers free reign – hurting species and hurting local economies. Less than 300 ibises now remain in the wild.

In a single deliberate poisoning event, three Giant Ibis, equivalent to 1-2 percent of the global population, have been killed – part of a disturbing global trend where conservationists are noticing increases in hunting of protected species since the spread of coronavirus began to disrupt traditional economic and social systems in rural areas.

The incident was detected on 9 April 2020 in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary, Preah Vihear Province. The birds were killed illegally for their meat, which would have been consumed locally or sold on the market.

In addition to the Ibis poisoning, more than 100 Painted Stork chicks were poached in late March at Cambodia’s Prek Toal Ramsar Site, the largest waterbird colony in Southeast Asia.

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