Tools: Save | Print | " target="_blank" class="style1">E-mail | Most Read
Rare Species Freed in Wilderness
Adjust font size:

The crested ibis, an endangered species, has successfully been returned to its natural habitat from its artificial feeding environment after one year of experiments in Yangxian County, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.


"The nine ibis sent back to the wild on October 16, 2004 have smoothly adapted to the natural environment and have been mingling with wild ones," said Ding Haihua, director of the Shaanxi Ibis Protection Observatory.


Another three birds are believed to be doing well in nature, though the observatory did not keep track of them, Ding added.


According to the director, seven ibis, the only such birds in the world living in their natural habitat, were found in Yangxian in 1981. Only four of those birds could reproduce.


"High deformity, high mortality of young birds and illness often occurred among the artificially bred birds, which may cause degeneration," Ding said.


The observatory thus started the experiment of sending the artificially bred ibis to the wilderness last October, aiming to help the birds adapt to natural living conditions, improve their species and enlarge their habitat, the director said.


"We are planning to send out another 12 artificially bred ibis next month to get more experimental data," Ding told China Daily.


The crested ibis used to be seen in China, Russia, Korea and Japan before the 1970s. With an average length of 80 centimeters and weighing 1,800 grams, the white-feather, red-face bird lives in rice fields and feeds on aquatic insects.


No such birds were spotted in the wilderness of those countries until seven were found in Yangxian County in southern Shaanxi in 1981. A protection zone was then established in the county.


In 1989, Chinese scientists successfully hatched the rare birds. The population of the birds has reached some 750, according to Zhu Julong, deputy director of the Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Bureau.


Three artificial breeding bases have been built in Shaanxi's Yangxian and Zhouzhi counties and Beijing Zoo.


(China Daily September 6, 2005)

Tools: Save | Print | " target="_blank" class="style1">E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
China Sets New Records for Breeding Japanese Crested Ibis
Crested Ibis Named Provincial Bird of Shaanxi
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback

Copyright © All Rights Reserved E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号