(Do watch the ibises fly at around 1:30 into the video clip!)
Big news from Sado Island in Niigata prefecture! Crested Ibises have been returned to the wild after 27 years. NHK World explains:
The 10 crested ibises (5 male and 5 female) were bred at the conservation center on the island from birds sent from central China.
Japanese crested ibises used to be seen across Japan:
They became extinct as agricultural chemicals destroyed their food sources. They disappeared from the wild in 1981, when the last 5 were captured for breeding on Sado Island. Residents of Sado have been working to make a friendly environment for the ibises, such as by creating ponds where the birds can catch fish and insects.
I wish NHK would take this opportunity and explain in more detail why agricultural chemicals destroyed the habitat of these magnificient ibises. 20-30 years of turning rice fields into a toxic soup? Remember Rachel Carson?
I wish these 10 very dignified birds all the best in Japan (they are bred here at Sado, thanks to a gift from the government of China).