ENVIRONMENT & ECOLOGY
News: Endangered Bird Returned To South Korean Wild 40 Years After Extinction.
The crested ibis is listed as South Korea's National Monument number 198, but was last seen in the wild in 1979 in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula.
China and Japan are also part of the species' natural range, but the species was driven to the edge of extinction -- partially because pesticide use eliminated its food sources -- until captive breeding programmes were set up.
The species - Latin name Nipponianippon - is also known as the Japanese crested ibis, but is best known in the South for a popular children's song composed in the 1920s, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule.
The song describes the sound of the bird's call as a sad reminder of a lost mother, and was banned by the Japanese authorities -- who reportedly saw it as a form of anti-colonial resistance -- but became popular again after Korea regained its independence in 1945.