2001 Volume 38 Issue 3 Pages 213-224
Only seven crested ibis (Nipponia nippon) were rediscovered in China in 1981, and the number of birds increased to more than 230 in both wild and captivity by the time of 2000. The following results were obtained in Shaanxi Crested Ibis Feeding and Breeding Center during 1995-2000: (1) Nineteen breeding pairs laid 325 eggs in total, of which 96 eggs (ca. 30%) were damaged in the nests, and 150 eggs (ca. 66%) were fertile, from which 127 chicks (ca. 88%) hatched and 95 birds (ca. 77%) survived to the stage of post-fledging. (2) Considerably high hatchability (ca. 99%) was obtained by combination of parental and artificial incubation. (3) Successful improvement of fertility, hatchability and survivability of the crested ibis were demonstrated by cross breeding between the offspring. (4) Sufficient development of human-hand-rearing system was also certified by using artificial diets. (5) Frequent appearance of a kind of physical disturbances was also observed. Collectively, these results show considerably higher rates of fertility, hatchability and survivability of the crested ibis in captivity, suggesting that such heavy inbreeding system as in this study might have not influenced serious damages to the propagation of this species.