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[Sado Wildlife in Focus] The Enchanting Color of the Crested Ibis

This second photo essay by photojournalist Fumio Oyama further showcases the crested ibis on Sado Island, the endangered bird's only wild habitat in Japan.



A crested ibis with spread wings, looking proud. (© Fumie Oyama)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - [Sado Wildlife in Focus] The Enchanting Color of the Crested Ibis

On September 29, artificially bred crested ibis, called toki in Japanese, were released into the wild on Sado Island for the 29th time. Sado, part of Niigata Prefecture, provides a wealth of natural habitats. 

After the crested ibis went extinct in Japan, birds were received from China to breed. A program to release the bird back into the wild has been ongoing over the past 15 years. 


The 29th Release

Different methods are employed to release birds. One is the hard release, where the ibis are placed in a box and brought to a release site after acclimatization training is completed.

The breathtaking beauty of the crested ibis in the morning sun with spread wings. (© Fumie Oyama) (Not a photo of the actual release)

Another method is the soft release. Birds that have been trained to catch food and fly are put in cages. The cages are placed in the target habitat with the door left open so the birds can come out on their own and fly away. 

Continue reading the full photo essay on Japan 2 Earth to see more amazing photos of the crested ibis and learn about recent developments in its release into the wild.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Fumie Oyama

Click here to read more Sado Wildlife in Focus photo essays by photojournalist Fumie Oyama.

Fumie Oyama is a two-time winner of the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association Award as a photographer for the Sankei Shimbun. After covering the reintroduction of the crested ibis to the wild for 11 years, Oyama left the company in 2020 to move to Sado Island. There, he continues to photograph the ibis and other wildlife while engaging in farming. He currently promotes the charms of Sado Island as a photojournalist. Follow Fumie Oyama on Instagram.


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