Wetlands in E China's Yangzhou welcome rare migratory birds to settle, breed

Source: Xinhua| Published: 2023-02-14

Located at the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal, Yangzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province is rich in wetland resources, attracting many migratory birds, including some rare species, to settle and breed every year.

The wetland conservation area in Yangzhou exceeds 345,900 acres. Those surrounding the Gaoyou Lake cover some 175,300 acres with a natural wetland protection rate of 82 percent there.

With continuous improvement in the wetland environment and the abundant fish and shrimp resources, about 100 oriental white storks, an endangered bird species, have become resident birds instead of migratory ones every year.

"Oriental white storks have become our old friends. We have taken a series of measures to create a favorable living environment for them, such as promoting bird protection knowledge, picking up plastic garbage, implementing the Migratory Bird Lifeline project and so on," said Wangwei, member of local bird guardian volunteer service team.

Currently, the oriental white storks which have settled in Yangzhou are entering the breeding season. Usually, one adult bird stays in the nest while the other flies to the wetland to forage and feed their chicks.

"Last spring, this pair of oriental white storks bred four chicks here. At the end of Dec. last year, they returned to reinforce their nest. Shortly after the Spring Festival, they laid an egg. Due to the slightly colder weather, they delayed breeding time by over half a month, compared to last year," said Zhu Chunhua from Gaoyou Natural Reserve Management Center.

This year, the local government will continue to carry out wetland restoration and biodiversity conservation work, making the wetlands a new home for more wild species.