Critically endangered duck species spotted in NE China's Heilongjiang

A large flock of 50 critically endangered Baer's pochard ducks has been spotted at a lake area in Qiqihar City in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, showing significant improvement of the local ecological environment.

Listed on the Red List of Endangered Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are only about 1,500 remaining in the wild worldwide. It has been listed as a first-class state protected species in China since February 2021.

"In recent years, we have kept strengthening the protection of rare migratory birds at the Bainiao Lake Scenic Area. We have systematically planted reeds and cattails to create habitats and breeding grounds for the birds," said Wang Chunyan, a researcher of the Nenjiang River East Bainiao Lake scenic area.

More than 20 Baer's pochard ducks flew to live at our lake area last March. This year, our researchers have observed that as the ducks are returning to the lake area gradually, the number of the birds has increased to about 50. This shows that the improved ecological environment of the lake area is very suitable for the ducks to live in and breed, Wang said.

It is the second time for the species to show up at the scenic area.

As a result of significant improvement of the local ecological environment, the 800-hectare water area has become a favorable habitat for large numbers of migratory birds.

(Cover image: A Baer's pochard duck in water. /VCG)

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