AnGKOR CENTRE FOR CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY
Greater Adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius)
IUCN Status: Endangered
Meet the Greater Adjutant. Granted, it’s a strange looking bird, but it also happens to be one of my favorite resident here at the Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity. These birds can reach a height of upwards of 1 meter 50 and have a pink pendulous neck-pouch. Once very common in Asia, the greater adjutant population has steadily declined and today, only two breeding populations remain: one in India, and the other here in Cambodia. I'd like to draw your attention to this pink pouch that hangs down from the bird’s neck. Both males and females have it, and you might be wondering what on earth does this big hanging sack does. Well, to put it simply, we don’t know. The scientific community still has no idea what function this pendulous neck-pouch serves, and I think that’s fascinating. You would think that with our modern technologies we would have enabled us to find out, yet, the biological world proves to still be full of mysteries.
Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus)
IUCN STATUS: ENDANGERED
Meet the Green Peafowl, cousin of the Indian Peafowl-the ones running around in fancy European parks-the Green Peafowl is actually quite rare and is found mostly in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. This species is listed as endangered by the IUCN red list mostly due to the high rates of poaching experienced by these birds for both their meat and their beautiful, ornamental feathers. Little side fun fact: the word peafowl refers to the general name of the family of birds, while the word peacock only refers to male peafowls!
GIANT IBIS (Thaumatibis gigantea)
IUCN STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
Rare and elusive, the Giant Ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea) is one of the few critically endangered bird of Cambodia. Coincidentally also the national bird, the population is estimated at about 200 remaining individuals. At ACCB, the centre I work for, we take care of two giant ibises and every morning when I cook breakfast-I can see their inclosure from the sink-I realize I am looking at roughly 1% of their worldwide population which is a mind-blowing thought, but also a terrifying one.