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Sacred ibis

Sacred ibis     Threskiornis aethiopicus

Photo credit: GBNNSS

  • Appearance: Distinctive species with a long, down-curved bill, white body and black head and neck.
  • Impact: Can have serious impacts on other bird species due to predation of eggs and chicks. Sacred ibis cause nuisance or environmental health concerns by scavenging from rubbish bins in areas of human habitation. May carry disease which could be harmful to poultry, native fauna and humans.
  • Pathway: Occasionally found as wild birds or may have escaped or been deliberately released into the wild.
  • Legal status: Species of special concern listed under the retained EU Regulation 1143/2014 and the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement & Permitting) Order 2019.
  • Unless you have a licence or permit or an exemption applies you must not:
    • keep them in your house, garden or business
    • sell them to other people
    • exchange them for goods
    • release them into the environment
    • let them breed or escape
    • import them into the UK
    • transport them within the UK
    • export them to other countries


  • What to do if you see Sacred ibis for sale or other offences being committed: Make a report by following the guidance here.


  • What to do if you see this animal in the wild: This is an alert species, record it with a photograph (where possible).