CHENGDU (Xinhua) – Two crested ibis chicks were hatched in an artificial breeding center for the endangered species in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday and Wednesday, local authorities said.
The two crested ibis chicks weighed 55.3 g and 51.7 g, respectively, and were in good health, according to the publicity department of the Emeishan city, Sichuan.
Experts in Sichuan brought 50 crested ibis from Henan, Zhejiang and Shaanxi provinces in November 2016 to establish a breeding program for the endangered bird.
The crested ibis began mating in February. As of Monday, 58 crested ibis eggs were collected for artificial incubation.
More crested ibis chicks are expected to be hatched in the coming days. The successful breeding means Sichuan will be able to rebuild the crested ibis population.
The crested ibis was last spotted 50 years ago in Sichuan’s Guangyuan city. There have been no sightings in the province since.
In 1981, seven crested ibis were found in Shaanxi’s Yangxian county, which is about 200 km away from Guangyuan.
During the past three decades, the population of crested ibis in China has grown from seven to more than 2,000 due to conservation efforts by the government and academic institutions. The endangered birds are under top national protection.