- Midori Aoki
A wild bird once thought to be extinct is making a comeback in inland China. The endangered crested ibis' population is now in the thousands. Its revival is also hatching economic spinoffs in the area.
"The crested ibis is known for its beautiful color. In China, we believe that it brings luck and beauty," says Photographer Li Ping.
For more than 2 decades, Li has dedicated his life to capturing photos of the endangered crested ibis. He wants to raise awareness about the rare species.
"In order to save the crested ibis, more people need to know about it. We need to understand that saving the bird also means protecting the environment," says Li.
The wild bird used to live in East Asia and the Russian Far East. But its population plunged as human development encroached on the bird's habitat. At one point, researchers thought the crested ibis was extinct.