Two crested ibis chicks born to captivity-raised birds released into the wild on Sado Island were confirmed dead Monday, the Environment Ministry said.

The chicks, produced under a government program to repopulate the endangered species, are the first found to have died.

The ministry said the two chicks were hatched last Wednesday and Saturday to a 4-year-old male and a 3-year-old female. Using remotely operated cameras, the ministry confirmed the two chicks were dead Monday.

Eight crested ibises were born in the wild last year on the Sea of Japan island, the first time in 36 years eggs had been hatched outside of captivity.

The ministry also said it has confirmed that another pair have produced an unknown number of chicks.