Status of Crested Ibises on Red List Revised after 21 Years

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Environment Ministry on Thursday revealed its revised red list of threatened wild animals, revising the status of Japanese crested ibises from "extinct in the wild" to "critically endangered," the first improvement in 21 years.

The revision, putting the species one notch below the previous status, was made because breeding of crested ibises given by China has been successful, leading to an increase in the number of the species in the wild, ministry officials said.

The number of Japanese crested ibises, designated as a special natural monument in the nation, dramatically decreased due to overhunting since the Meiji era (1868-1912).

The last five wild Japanese created ibises were caught and taken into captivity in 1981, and the Japanese-born species became extinct when the last wild crested ibis, named Kin, died in 2003.

Given the situation, the ministry started a project to breed crested ibises that were offered from China and release them into the wild, with a view to reintroducing the species in the ecosystem.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press