Sunday 19 May
Asian crested ibis (Nipponia nippon)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Asian crested ibis fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Asian crested ibis description
In spite of the Asian crested ibis’ remarkable recovery from the brink of extinction, this distinctive bird remains one of the world’s most threatened ibis species (4) (5) (6). Unmistakable in appearance, the Asian crested ibis has conspicuous red facial skin and legs, and a stunning, bushy crest (4) (7). While the non-breeding plumage is all white, breeding adults have a grey head, crest, neck and back (2) (4) (7). Like all ibises, the red-tipped bill is long, thin and down-curving (6) (7) (8).
- Also known as
- Japanese crested Ibis, Toki.
- Ibis Moñudo Japonés, Ibis Nipón.
- Length: 55 - 78.5 cm (2)
BirdLife International - Asian crested ibis:
- The act of keeping eggs warm so that development is possible.
IUCN Red List (December, 2009)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1992) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Ostrich to Ducks. Vol. 1. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
CITES (December, 2009)
BirdLife International (December, 2009)
- Yu, X.P., Chang, X.Y., Li, X., Chen, W.G. and Shi, L. (2009) Return of the Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon: a reintroduction programme in Shaanxi province, China. BirdingASIA, 11: 80-82.
- Marshall Cavendish Corporation. (2001) Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World. Marshall Cavendish Corporation, New York.
Canadian Museum of Nature - Natural History Notebooks (December, 2009)
- Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
- BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
The Japan Times Online (December, 2009)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Asian crested ibis biology
Like other ibis species, the Asian crested ibis uses its long beak to probe shallow water and dense grasses in search of food (6). A wide range of small animals feature in its diet, including crabs, frogs, fish, beetles, earthworms, river snails, and other molluscs (2) (4) (9).
Asian crested ibis range
Historically, the Asian crested ibis ranged widely through the Russian Far East, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Today however, it is extinct in almost all of its former range, with just one wild population remaining in Shaanxi province in central China (2) (4) (5) (9).Top
Asian crested ibis habitat
The Asian crested ibis inhabits areas with tall trees for nesting, and wetlands or agricultural ground for foraging. Although, the remaining breeding sites are between 470 and 1,300 metres above sea level, historical evidence suggests that lowlands are more favourable to this species (4) (9).Top
Asian crested ibis statusTop
Asian crested ibis threats
Although abundant throughout Eastern Asia up until a century ago, deforestation and habitat destruction caused the Asian crested ibis population to crash during the 20th century. When the last wild birds in Japan were taken into captivity in 1981, the species was believed to be extinct in the wild, but later that year, a tiny population of seven birds was discovered in a remote, mountainous area of Shaanxi Province in China (4) (5) (9). Thanks to the implementation of a conservation programme and the enforcement of laws protecting habitat, the wild population had risen to more than 600 wild individuals by 2009 (4) (5). However, although its population continues to increase, there are still fears for the Asian crested ibis, with various factors still threatening to undermine this species’ recovery. Indeed, the ongoing conversion of rice fields to dry wheat production is rapidly reducing the availability of feeding areas. Additional threats include the use of agrochemicals at feeding sites, occasional hunting and low genetic diversity (4) (9).Top
Asian crested ibis conservation
In addition to its legal protection in China, numerous conservation measures have been introduced since the Asian crested ibis’ rediscovery, including the protection of nesting sites and the periodic prohibition of logging, hunting with firearms, and usage of agrochemicals (4) (9). As of 2009, there are around 500 birds occurring within several captive breeding programmes (5). Following the successes of these programmes, captive bred birds are now being used to reintroduce the Asian crested ibis to parts of its original range in China and Japan (4) (5) (10).Top
Find out more
To find out more about the Asian crested ibis, see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.