Australian White Ibis | Redland City Council

An Australian White Ibis foraging in still water.

Australian White Ibis

The Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) is a native bird playing an important role in our local ecosystem. This easily recognisable bird is critical to natural pest management, preying on insects and grubs in addition to foraging for crustaceans, frogs, fish, small mammals and snails. They are one of the few species that have adapted to eat cane toads.

On Redlands Coast you will find ibis in their natural habitat - swampy, wetland areas, mudflats, parks, open paddocks and beaches.  You may also find them in parklands, school grounds and other urban environments where they feed on unattended or discarded human food scraps.  Like all our native birds, human food can negatively impact the health of the ibis.

How ibis are managed on Redlands Coast

Redland City Council is a founding member of the Ibis Management Coordination Group (IMCG) and one of the first Councils to undertake an ibis management program. This IMCG consists of South-east Queensland and New South Wales local governments, ecologists, researchers and consultants who work together to provide the best techniques to alleviate ibis issues through:

  • surveys
  • monitoring
  • population restriction
  • local management plans.

Ongoing management has kept a cap on the ibis population and here on Redland Coasts you will find small numbers of ibis throughout the City. The ibis population is part of a national annual ibis count, undertaken to ensure we are effectively managing our population.

Did you know?

  • Ibis were revered the Egyptians and Greeks in ancient times.
  • In ancient Egypt the God, Toth, had the head of an ibis and presided over the judgement of the dead. As such, ibis were protected and respected.  
  • Until the 1980’s ibis were only found inland, never on the coast.
  • The number of ibis inland have decreased dramatically.
  • Ibis are known as the “farmer’s friend” playing a critical role in pest management, especially in controlling locust plagues and introduced crayfish.

How can you help?

There are some simple steps you can take to help manage our ibis population:

  • Do not feed ibis or other local birds and wildlife. Ibis will soon catch on to an easy food resource.
  • Ensure food scraps aren’t left lying around and all food waste is disposed of properly.
  •  Bin lids should be closed securely.
  • Do not leave chicken food in the open - feed your chickens when they are locked up.
  • Use ibis proof bin designs in schools, parks and restaurant areas.
  •  For outdoor dining establishments, please clear tables of left-over food as soon as possible.
  • Do not harass or harm the birds.

The Australian White Ibis is protected under State Wildlife Legislation (Nature Conservation Act 1992).