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Two rare crested ibises born in NW China

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-11 15:25

XI'AN -- Two crested ibises have been born in a nature reserve in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, authorities said.

The two rare birds were born in the Shaanxi Hanzhong Crested Ibis National Nature Reserve -- the first crested ibises born in the reserve this year.

The first baby bird was born on Tuesday afternoon, around five days later than in previous years due to low temperatures in early spring in 2024, said Liu Yi, a staff member with the reserve's artificial breeding center.

When these crested ibises are more mature, they will be moved to an area in the reserve that simulates the natural environment, providing open spaces for their activities and nutritious meals to help them grow, according to the reserve.

Located in the southern part of the Qinling Mountains, the nature reserve currently has 28 pairs of these birds hatching in their nests. Since 1990, over 400 crested ibis chicks have been artificially incubated in the reserve.

The crested ibis, with its iconic red crest and long black beak, was thought to be extinct in China until seven wild birds were observed in Shaanxi in 1981, a discovery that prompted captive breeding and enhanced protection of the species.

After more than 40 years of continuous conservation, it is estimated that there are over 11,000 crested ibises in the world today.

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