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Breeding Variation in a Reintroduced Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon Population in Central China

Breeding Variation in a Reintroduced Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon Population in Central China

Dongping Liu1, Guogang Zhang1, Chao Wang2, Baoping Qing2 and Jun Lu1,*

1Key Laboratory of Forest Protection of State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Environment Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2Shaanxi Hanzhong Crested Ibis National Nature Reserve, Hanzhong 723300, China

*     Corresponding author: lujunmail@vip.sina.com

ABSTRACT

The crested ibis Nipponia nippon formerly occurred throughout East Asia, but since 1981 its unique population has been confined to a narrow band in transborder area of Yangxian, Chenggu and Xixiang County of Shaanxi Province, Central China, on the south slope of the Qinling Mountains. During 2004-2005, 23 crested ibises were experimentally reintroduced to an isolated basin in Qinling Mountains, where they and their offspring exhibited breeding variation never observed in wild population in the following 9 breeding seasons. Crested ibis has been considered a monogamous species, and breeding pair is solitary and territorial. However, 3.4% of breeding females exhibited polyandry and 43.1% of nests were observed colonial in single tree in the reintroduced population, probably due to male-biased sex ratio and better nesting conditions. First nest failure in reintroduced population occurred much earlier than that in wild, which resulted in significantly higher probability of re-nesting. The phenotypic plasticity in crested ibis may play important role in future reintroduction of this critically endangered species under a changing environment.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 52, Iss. 4, Pages 1225-1630

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