Snowfall in summer sounds like abnormal weather for most of us, but not for the black-necked cranes in the Ruoergai Wetland National Nature Reserve of southwestern Sichuan Province.
The IUCN Red List classifies black-necked cranes as near threatened, and they are the only one of the world's 15 crane species that breeds entirely at high altitudes. And the Ruoergai Wetland National Nature Reserve is one of their summer breeding grounds in China.
The altitude of the wetland is over 3,000 meters above sea leave, a sudden snowfall in May or June is a common scene.
"The recent continuous rainfall and snowfall in the Ruoergai Wetland have provided a precious opportunity to replenish the wetland's water deposit. The subsequent lush growth of plants nourished by the plenty of groundwater will provide more food for the black-necked cranes and other wild animals," said Sonam Dorje, director of the scientific research department at the Ruoergai Wetland National Nature Reserve Administration.
Famous for the vast grassland and winding rivers, the Ruoergai Wetland National Nature Reserve is located at the northeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The nature reserve is established to protect the local peat swamp ecosystem and rare species such as the black-necked crane.
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