The population of Siberian cranes wintering in China reaches 5616

The population of Siberian cranes wintering in China has reached 5,616, according to the latest survey of the Beijing Forestry University. 

From October to March, throngs of Siberian cranes migrate to China from Russia. The research team of Beijing Forestry University conducted the winter survey from December 2021 to February 2022 in Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei and Anhui provinces, where Siberian cranes winter.

"According to our survey, the population of Siberian cranes has reached 5,616, which is much more than 4,000, the number estimated by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The new data suggests that the number of Siberian cranes is increasing." said Guo Yumin, professor at the School of Ecology and Nature Conservation at the Beijing Forestry University.

Guo said that there are historically three groups of Siberian cranes in the world, namely, the western group, the middle group and the eastern group. Since the 1960s, the population of Siberian cranes has dropped drastically due to the deteriorating environment and human interference. Now, the middle and western groups are nearly extinct, only the eastern group that lives in China, Russia and Mongolia survives.

Thanks to the protection measures taken over years in China, numbers has steadily increased. Among the 5,616 Siberian cranes, fledglings account for 14.27 percent, indicating the healthy condition of the group. 

The Siberian crane is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. It is under first-class state protection in China.

(Cover image via CFP.)

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