Biodiversity / Food / Water

September 29, 2006


14 Japanese Crested Ibis Chicks Successfully Fledge in Natural Breeding Program

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government University / Research institute 

The Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center in Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture has a number of internationally protected Japanese Crested Ibises (Nipponia nippon) under its care. The Ministry of the Environment announced on 10 June, 2006 that the last batch of chicks hatched during this mating season left the nest on June 22, bringing the total number of ibises up to 98 including the 18 hatched this year. Nine breeding pairs initially laid 46 eggs, of which 18 were fledged. Of these 14 were hatched and raised naturally.

Japanese Crested Ibises were once seen all around Japan, spreading their pale pink wings to fly elegantly to and fro over the paddy fields. However, their population declined sharply due to excessive hunting, and continued to drop due to habitat deterioration. In 1981, the Sado Center captured the last five remaining wild-born ibises for artificial breeding, but the effort failed. Japanese Crested Ibises purely bred from the Japanese population became extinct in 2003.

Under these circumstances, the Sado Center had been trying to artificially breed three parent ibises given to the Center by China where a wild population still exists in order to gradually multiply their offspring. The Center also started a natural breeding program so that the generation of ibises might be returned to the wild. Consequently, one chick was born from a pair in 2004 and one chick from another pair in 2005. In 2006, the Center succeeded in arranging for all nine pairs to mate naturally, and seven pairs hatched 18 chicks. Fourteen of theses were raised by their parents naturally and survived to leave the nest. Thus, the Center has achieved considerable success with natural propagation.
- Last Wild-born Japanese Crested Ibis Dies (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2006/09/29 11:43:49 AM
Japanese version