China's giant panda research base said on Sunday that it has hatched one Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) egg, a bird as rare as the giant panda, and covering a similar range.
The rare bird, native to alpine shrubs of over 3,000 meters above sea level, is one of the largest pheasants in the world. It is listed on China's first-grade state protection as there are fewer than 3,000 left in the wild.
There are only 11 captive birds in Fengtongzhai National Nature Reserve in Sichuan.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding said the center and the reserve as well as the China West Normal University set up a lab in March to pass on experience in panda breeding to the protection of birds.
More eggs are expected to hatch soon.
The panda base has engaged with experts from the World Pheasant Association.