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Breeding Ecology of a Reintroduced Population of Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) in Henan Province, China

Breeding Ecology of a Reintroduced Population of Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) in Henan Province, China

Jie Wu1, Jiagui Zhu2, Ke Wang2, Dejing Cai2, Yingying Liu1, Yanzhen Bu1,* and Hongxing Niu1,*

1College of Life Science, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, 453007, China 
2Administration Bureau of Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Luoshan, Henan Province 464236, China 

*      Corresponding authors: hongxingniu@htu.cn;
buyanzhen@htu.cn

ABSTRACT

The crested ibis (Nipponia nippon)is a globally endangered bird. Aimed to save and restore the small population in Henan Province, China, a reintroduction program was conducted in the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve in 2007. Wild birds bred in semi-wilderness were reintroduced. Habitat selection and breeding ecology of crested ibis in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve has not been studied. To clarify the breeding status of the crested ibis and to provide more reference for the reintroduction of this species, the process of pairing, nest site selection, egg laying, incubation and brooding of the crested ibis in the wild was studied in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Luoshan County, Henan Province, China. From October 2013 to May 2015, a total of 78 captive-bred individuals have been released into the reserve and monitored through radio transmitters or satellite transmitters. Twelve nests of 10 pairs were recorded over three breeding seasons. Sixteen variables of habitat characteristics were measured. The results showed that: 1) the principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the first four components accounted for 79.31% of the total variance, including vegetation, interference, nest position and food factors, which best reflected the habitat site selection of the crested ibis. The crested ibis were more likely to choose higher tree nests that were closer to residential areas and in a lower slope position in the breeding season; 2) thirty-three eggs were laid in 12 nests, the average clutch size being 2.75±0.75 (range 2-4); 3) twenty-five eggs were hatched, with the average hatching success 78.48%; 4) twenty-three fledglings flew; the average fledging rate: 75.00%; 5) the average breeding success rate was 70.14%. The results will help guide the recovery and expansion of the Chinese crested ibis populations and for other reintroduction programs.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

April

Vol. 50, Iss. 2, Pages 401-797

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