XI'AN, June 200 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-three more crested ibises, a bird once thought to be extinct, have been born since February in the Juhe River area in Tongchuan City in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, the rare bird's main habitat in China.
Until the discovery of seven wild crested ibises on May 23, 1981 in Yangxian, Shaanxi Province, the birds, once common in Japan, China, Russia and the Korean Peninsula, were thought to be extinct in the wild.
The population of the endangered bird species has been growing in recent years thanks to decades of conservation.
The local forestry department freed 62 captive-bred ibises into the wild in the Juhe River area in 2013 and 2015. The birds have adapted to the natural environment well and 69 more crested ibis chicks were born within five years, according to Wang Huaqiang, head of the wild animal protection station in Yaozhou district of Tongchuan city.
Currently, about 2,2000 crested ibises live in Shaanxi Province. Their habitat covers around 14,000 square kilometers.