Sunday, August 1, 2010

Crested Ibis on China stamp

The specific bird, Crested Ibis featured on three single value stamps from China.

The Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon), also known as the Japanese Crested Ibis or Toki .The size of bird up to 78.5 cm long, white-plumaged ibis of pine forests. Its head is partially bare, showing red skin, and it has a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. This species is the only member of the genus Nipponia.
Their habitat is usually mainlands and wetlands. They make their nests at the tops of trees on hills usually overlooking their habitat. Crested Ibises usually eat frogs, small fishes, and small animals.

The Crested Ibis was widespread in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Russia. It has now disappeared from most of its former range. The last wild Japanese Crested Ibis died in October 2003, while the remaining wild population can be found only in Shaanxi province of China.

Extensive captive breeding programs have been developed by Japan and China to conserve the species. They were put on the State Protection List in China, which also spread throughout most of Asia. Also, for the past 23 years, China has bred and protected the species. In 2002, there were a total of 130 colonies in China. Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, limited range, winter starvation and persecution in last century brought this endangered species to the brink of extinction.

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