Inter-institutional Panel on Population Management of the Oriental White Stork
Oriental white storks once inhabited various parts of Japan. However, the breeding population in our country went extinct in 1971 when the last wild individual was rescued but later died. Thereafter, the storks were bred by Tama Zoological Park successfully in captivity for the first time in 1988, and their ex situ (captive) population increased steadily. In 2005, reintroduction (release) of the stork was initiated by Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork to revive the in situ (wild) population. In 2007, the first successful breeding in the wild was recorded, and the in situ population in Japan has been gradually increasing since then, with over 200 wild storks present in December 2020. However, to maintain the in situ and ex situ populations, various issues such as "maintenance of the genetic diversity" and "improvement of their habitats" should be cleared. The Inter-institutional Panel on Population Management of the Oriental White Stork (IPPM-OWS) was established in 2013, as a joint venture of Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork, Tama Zoological Park, and Biodiversity Committee of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA). Several organizations and facilities working toward the conservation of the oriental white stork were called to promote nationwide efforts for the conservation of this species and joined IPPM-OWS.