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|Sunday, March 25, 2001, updated at 11:03(GMT+8)|
Rare Bird's Habitats Enlarged in Northwest ChinaTraces of crested ibis, a kind of endangered bird, were recently reported in areas larger than its former habitats in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The world rare birds were only spotted in Shaanxi's Yangxian County in previous years. Since last May, residents in the neighboring counties have reported finding crested ibises, according to the Shaanxi Crested Ibis Protection and Observation Station.
The birds were found looking for food in areas 80 kilometers away from the Yangxian County town. A pair of crested ibis built their nest on the top of a pine tree in a village of the county.
Experts say the enlargement of the birds' habitats is the result of an improved ecological environment. Most of the birds are living close to reservoirs or paddy fields.
Ibises are endangered species distinguished by its red crest, gray plumage and hooked beak. Population has grown from merely seven in 1981, when it was first found in northwest China, to more than 100 at present as a result of environmental protection measures adopted by the local government. The measures include a ban on fertilizer application and lumbering in areas close to the species natural habitat.
The origin of the endangered species has been traced back to over 60 million years ago, with large flocks formerly existing in most of China, Japan and Germany. But now the species is found only in China, mostly in mountainous areas in the Qinling Ranges in northwest China.
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