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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:09, March 24, 2005
Red-crested crane habitat aflame in NE China
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Fire has burned for three days in the wetland reeds of Zhalong Nature Reserve in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the seasonal home of many of China's red-crested cranes.

About 320,000 mu (21,333 hectares) of the wetland has burned. Thick smoke could be seen about 30 kilometers away.

Firemen have been fighting the fire, but it is still not under control.

Red-crested cranes come here each year in this season, but they might not come this year because of the fire, said Ma Lin, a worker in the reserve.

Investigation of the fire reason is still underway.

Set up in 1979, Zhalong Nature Reserve covers an area of 210,000 hectares and was designed as a state-level nature reserve for the red-crested crane.

The red-crested crane, or Grus japonensis, is an endangered species in the highest category of protection in China.

There are only 1,000 such birds in the world living in Japan, Russia, and the Republic of Korea. And more than 220 red-crested cranes have been found in Zhalong alone.

Source: Xinhua

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