The crested ibis were widespread in China, Japan and Russia for nearly 60 million years. In the 1960s, due to the widespread use of pesticides and fertilisers, the birds’ numbers dwindled to less than 10 individuals.
In the last few decades, The Zoology Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has played a key role in the fight to save these rare birds from extinction.
After searching for three years, finally in 1984, scientists discovered two adult crested ibis. They put all their efforts into growing the population by creating a conservation station, expanding the species habitat and working on lowering the risks of inbreeding.