China Hatches Endangered Crested Ibis Chicks Using Artificial Insemination

By Prei Dy, | April 26, 2017

An endangered crested ibis chick hatched in a breeding center in China. (YouTube)

An endangered crested ibis chick hatched in a breeding center in China. (YouTube)

An endangered crested ibis has hatched after its mother underwent artificial insemination, a part of China's program to preserve the species' decreasing number.

The chick was reportedly born at a breeding station at Mount Emei in Sichuan Province, according to the West China City Daily as cited by Today Online. The egg was laid last month and finally hatched last week.

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Staff had to crack the top of the egg open as the bird's head got stuck. The chick was then placed in an incubator and is being monitored round the clock by three scientists from the Sichuan Academy of National Resources Scientists to ensure its survival.

The food serve for the chick is a combination of worms, yolk, apple, mudfish, and milk. It is given seven to eight meals per day. The bird is expected to fly 60 days after birth.

Last year, around 50 crested ibis were reportedly taken in Henan, Shaanxi, and Zhejiang provinces in November 2016 and were brought to the center to take part of the breeding program.

Two crested ibis chicks were also hatched last week. The two chicks were born in a good healthy condition, weighing 55.3 grams and 51.7 grams, respectively.

The crested ibis started mating in February. As of April 17, at least 58 crested ibis eggs were collected for artificial incubation.

The crested ibis was last spotted some 50 years ago in Sichuan's Guangyuan city. Since then, there have been no reported sightings. In 1981, seven crested bits were spotted in Shaanxi's Yangxian county. And over the past 30 years, the population of the crested ibis has increased from just seven to 2,000, thanks to the conservation efforts initiated by both the government and academic institutions.

The rare bird is now listed under top national protection.

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