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Ruby-red scarlet finch spotted in SW China after move to lower grounds



The scarlet finch covered by ruby-red plumage is one of the rarest and the most famous species among bird lovers. Recently, a flock of them was captured by cameras in the Gaoligong Mountains in southwestern Yunnan Province.

Running from China's Qinghai-Xizang Plateau all the way to the Indochina Peninsula, the Gaoligong Mountains form magnificent massifs over 600 kilometers. It has become one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, dubbed "world species gene pool."

The scarlet finch usually lives in higher grounds, but they descend to lower grounds for better food sources and warmer weather from November to March.

Unlike migratory birds that travel horizontally from north to south each year in fixed breeding and wintering grounds, most of the birds in Gaoligong Mountains are resident birds living in dense forests. Every winter, they migrate from high-altitude areas of more than 3,000 meters to low-altitude areas of about 1,500 meters, and return to higher grounds in spring to breed. Such migration behavior is called vertical migration.

Hume's pheasant. /CMG
Hume's pheasant. /CMG

Hume's pheasant. /CMG

Blood pheasant. /CMG
Blood pheasant. /CMG

Blood pheasant. /CMG

Also known as the "paradise of pheasants," the Gaoligong Mountains has 24 species of pheasants, accounting for 43.6 percent in China, such as the Hume's pheasant, the crestless monal and the silver pheasant. So far, over 700 bird species have been recorded in the mountains, accounting for almost 80 percent in Yunnan and over half the number in the country.

To better protect the habitat and preserve biodiversity, the reserve's officials have promoted the co-management model, so local villagers and the staff working at the reserve work together.

For more

Gaoligong Mountain Series | Episode 8: A Chirping Contest

(Cover image is a screenshot)

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