China's big lakes welcome winter migrants

Xinhua | 2016-12-19 15:04

China's big lakes welcome winter migrants

Lots of migratory birds are spotted this winter at Poyang Lake, China's biggest freshwater lake, in Yongxiu county, Jiangxi province on Dec 16, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

NANCHANG -- Some 160,000 migratory birds have been spotted this winter at Poyang Lake, China's biggest freshwater lake, authorities said Monday.

Poyang in eastern China's Jiangxi province is a seasonal destination for over a million birds every year. Since the first of this year's migratory birds were spotted at the lake in September, 14 species of birds, including wild geese, swans and white cranes have arrived at the wetland.

Experts with Poyang Lake nature reserve said the lake is now in the dry season, so the shore is exposed by receding water, offering abundant aquatic plants and fish for the migratory birds.

A campaign to protect the wetland and birds has been initiated by the nature reserve.

Poyang Lake is a major habitat for migratory birds in Asia. About 95 percent of the world's white crane population, 50 percent of white-naped cranes and 60 percent of swan geese spend winter at the lake.

Shengjin Lake in eastern China's Anhui province has seen 80,000 migratory birds arriving for winter, including rare species such as white-headed cranes and Oriental cranes.

As a result of summer floods, the water receded later than normal this year, and more birds are expected to fly to the lake soon, said Wang Huanxi, head of the forestry protection station of Dadukou township of Dongzhi county.

As the birds enjoy eating wheat, local farmers in the lake reserve have left wheat, rice and rapeseed unharvested in the fields for the birds, and the reserve pay subsidies to the farmers.

Located near the Yangtze River, Shengjin Lake nature reserve covers 132.8 square kilometers and is a major habitat for migratory birds, attracting over 100 species every winter.

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