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Animals as art in the Qinling Mountains

Two crested ibises perch in a tree. Crested ibises are rare birds. Since the mid-20th Century, the influence of humans has caused difficulty in adapting to changes in the environment and their quantity is declining sharply. Country folk regard them as a symbol of good luck and call them "lucky bird". Crested ibises usually perch on tall trees and fly down to paddy fields, marshes and mountain streams when foraging locusts, frogs, small fish, snails and loach. The world’s wild crested ibis was found again in Yang County, Shanxi province in the summer of 1981 with a protection and observation station established two years later. After decades of endeavor, there are now nearly 2,000 crested ibises in China.