The Dwarf Ibis (also known as Dwarf Olive Ibis or São Tomé Ibis) is a small forest dwelling bird found on the island of São Tomé.
It had only been known from historical records and anecdotal evidence until a confirmed sighting in 1989. There have been a number of sightings since, during an ongoing study which hopes to identify the most important areas for the species on the island and develop a population estimate.
Their most suitable habitat is being surrounded and encroached by a very large-scale palm oil plantation, which has already destroyed the secondary forest belt where ibises were previously found, and which acted as a defensive barrier for the core of the population within the primary forest. Hunting, although typically opportunistic, is the biggest threat facing the Dwarf Olive Ibis. This is exacerbated by the fact that the species is tame and easy to spot.
A species action plan has been developed which will hopefully be the impetus for conservation of the species. Research into the species ecology is ongoing and is vital for future conservation measures.
- Order: Pelecaniformes
- Family: Threskiornithidae
- Population: 70-400
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 60-65 cm
South central region of the island of São Tomé off the coast of West Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Found in old growth forest up to 500m above sea level. It appears that the species is not limited to primary forest as there have been sightings near palm plantations and secondary forest. There is also evidence that the species prefers areas that have been disturbed by wild pigs or along watercourses. Their ecology is not fully understood due to the limited number of sightings. They forage on the forest floor, feeding on invertebrates, snails and slugs.