Japanese Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) - Wiki
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[Photo] Japanese Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon). Source: http://www.env.go.jp/earth/coop/coop/coopby_moe_e.html
The Crested Ibis, Nipponia nippon also known as Japanese Crested Ibis or Toki (Japanese: トキ, variously written in kanji as 朱鷺, ???, ??? or ???) is a large, up to 78.5cm long, white plumaged ibis of pine forests. Its red skin head is partially bare with a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. This species is the only member in monotypic genus Nipponia.
Their habitat is usually found in mainlands, and wetlands. They make their nests at the top of trees on hills usually overlooking their habitat. Crested Ibis usually eat frogs, small fishes, and small animals.
At one time, the Crested Ibis was widespread in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Russia. It is now disappeared from most of its former range. The last wild Japanese Crested Ibis died in October 2003, while the remaining world population can be found only in Shaanxi province of China. This isn't the first time this has happened though. They were thought to be extinct through the 1960s and 1970s, until 1981 when seven ibises were found in Shaanxi, China.
Extensive captive breeding programs has been developed by Japan and China to conserve the species. One way is they were put on the State Protection List in China, which also spread throughout most of Asia. Also, for the past 23 years, China has bred and protected the species. In 2002, there was a total of 130 colonies in China. Northwest Shaanxi province's research center has a history of 26 Crested Ibis fledglings including artificial, and natural incubation. On July 31, 2002, five out of seven Japanese Crested Ibis chicks hatched at an incubation center in northwest Shaanxi province. This was one of the latest records and highest record ever recorded of chicks that hatched. The parents of the chicks were chosen from 60 ibises pairs raised in that research center.
Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, limited range, winter starvation and persecution in last century brought this endangered species to the brink of extinction. The Crested Ibis has been listed in Appendix I of CITES.
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