PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 January, 2018, 10:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 January, 2018, 11:10pm
24 Jan 2018
With red claws and face – plus a large, curved black beak and crest – the crested ibis is known as the beauty bird or fairy bird in China.
They have existed for nearly 60 million years and were widespread in China, the Korean peninsula, Japan and Russia until the 1960s when the widespread use of pesticides and fertilisers, plus a loss of habitat, drove the birds to near extinction.
At one point, the entire species around the world was thought to be down to the last six birds.
Yet today, some five decades later, the number of crested ibis in China has reached more than 2,600 at the last count, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported this month. The species is still endangered, but its revival is a conservation success story in China.