11 Years On, Crested Ibises Focused on as Tourism Resource

Politics Society

Niigata, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)--The city government of Sado and others are paying attention to crested ibises as a tourism resource, in a shift from the existing view of them as birds in need of protection and breeding, 11 years after their release back into the wild.

Wednesday marks the 11th anniversary of the start of a project to release artificially bred crested ibises into the wild in the island city in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan.

On the island, over 400 of the birds, which are designated as a special natural treasure in the country, are believed to be out in the wild, and many people have spotted the birds catching food at rice paddies, according to city government officials.

Japan's Environment Ministry has set up an observation facility to watch the birds and has opened the roof area to the public.

While crested ibises once inhabited "satoyama" village forests throughout Japan, the number of such birds dwindled due to overhunting and environmental pollution.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press