NIIGATA – The Environment Ministry said Thursday it has found a second crested ibis chick born to a wild pair on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, while indicating the first chick confirmed last week to have been born to a separate pair was now likely dead.
The new chick was observed being fed by its parents on Thursday , the ministry said, noting it likely hatched after ministry officials checked the nest on Tuesday.
The first chick born to another wild pair on April 21 became the first second-generation wild ibis in Japan in 40 years, but the ministry said it has been unable to spot it or its parents feeding it since Tuesday.
Yukio Hirono, a senior ranger at the ministry, said the likelihood of the first chick’s survival was now “very low.”
But as the parent birds of the first chick continue to sit on the nest by taking turns, the ministry said there is a possibility that another chick or egg is inside.
After the last wild Japanese-born ibis died in 2003, the government sought to revive the species by utilizing birds given by China, reintroducing 10 ibises into the wild on Sado in 2008.
In 2012, eight crested ibises were hatched in the wild on the island, born to the birds bred in captivity. They became the first chicks in Japan born in the wild in 36 years.
The births of the new generation of wild ibises suggest that efforts to revive reproduction in nature are working.