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Missing for 20 years, then a reappearance in the skies

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-23 11:46

Koji Takano, one of Haruo Sato's most important allies in protecting the birds. (photocopy of the original Japanese version of the book)[Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1981 the Japanese captured what were thought to be the last five wild crested ibises in the country for artificial reproduction. That mission failed, and it seemed to spell doom for the bird. He Xin says he can understand how difficult it would have been to decide which approach to adopt in saving such a small population.

He was attending an information session in late November relating to the Chinese version of the non-fiction book Last Words of the Crested Ibis by the Japanese author Teruyuki Kobayashi in the 1990s.

The book recounts the more than 60 years of protection for the crested ibises born in Japan, which was mainly carried out spontaneously by bird lovers and non-governmental organizations.

Chen Xingeng, a writer and guest speaker at the session, said that in Japan environmental deterioration and a lack of government action was to blame for the birds' loss, and Yangxian county has learned from the mistakes.

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