5 Dalmatian pelicans found in Hebei Province, north China

Recently, a photographer discovered 5 rare large birds at Laiyuan Lake in Laiyuan County, Hebei Province. Experts identified the birds is Dalmatian pelican, a key national-level protected animal. It was also the first time five Dalmatian pelicans were found at the same time in Hebei.

Also known as the "big-billed bird", the Dalmatian pelican has a good appetite and requires a high level of environmental security. Dalmatian pelicans have been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable species as being threatened with extinction. In 2021, the Chinese List of State Key Protected Wild Animals upgraded the Dalmatian pelican to national level key wildlife protection.

The Dalmatian pelican prefer relatively warm temperatures and breeds in wetland areas. Their habitat is dispersed and mostly in the north in China, but they move to the south of China for winter.

“Between August and December last year, we found 4 pelicans in different wetlands and nature reserves respectively. This year, the species was found once again in Laiyuan Lake, and it was the first time that a cluster of 5 pelicans were found in Hebei, which shows that wetland conservation in Hebei is effective,” Liu Xun said, a director of Forestry and Grassland Bureau of Hebei Province.

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