Biodiversity / Food / Water

June 7, 2013


Japan's Environment Ministry Draws Up Roadmap to Reintroduce Japanese Crested Ibis into the Wild

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government 

The Ministry of the Environment of Japan announced on February 25, 2013, the plan of action to reintroduce its native crested ibis, known as the Toki (in Japanese), into the wild. The efforts have been actively undertaken by the Japanese government under the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The roadmap for crested ibis reintroduction describes plans and schedules for an immediate goal of resettling 60 wild crested ibises on Sado Island, a large island in Japan's northwest, by around 2015. It provides detailed actions to ensure the goal is met, based on the estimates of the future population of the bird calculated using observation data for the captive-bred birds released since 2008.

According to preliminary calculations, if the fledgling rate (the number of nests successfully producing fledgling young per nesting female) increases to 0.5 from 0.19 in 2012, the population of the wild crested ibis would stay constant without the addition of captive-bred birds. Even if the fledgling rate remains the same, the population could still reach 60 by releasing captive-bred birds into the wild every year through 2015.

The roadmap provides detailed action plans for securing the birds for captive-breeding and future release, increasing the fledgling and survival rates, and facilitating local networks and groups to gain consensus and momentum to protect the birds and surrounding environment.. The progress in undertaking these items will be evaluated each year to develop the next phase of the roadmap planned for 2015.

Related JFS article:
Transforming Agriculture and Economy to Save the Japanese Crested Ibis: Sado Island