Endangered duck species spotted for first time in NW China nature reserve

(Xinhua) 09:54, February 07, 2024

LANZHOU, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese mergansers, an endangered species of duck, were captured by cameras in the Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve in northwest China's Gansu Province recently, which is the first documented sighting of the species in the reserve.

On Jan. 25, He Liwen and his other colleagues from the reserve administration saw a group of waterfowl, four of which were rarely seen in the reserve before. They proceeded to track and photograph these birds, subsequently sharing the images with the reserve administration.

Experts then confirmed these four waterfowl as Chinese mergansers, which are under national first-class protection in the country.

"Chinese mergansers are extremely rare. This is the first time that the species was spotted in the Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve," He said.

Chinese mergansers live in pristine water environments and are regarded as sensitive indicator species for assessing water quality. Their hunting relies heavily on sharp vision, indicating that the rivers they inhabit must be very clear, He explained.

"In recent years, the reserve has adopted a variety of measures to protect the ecological environment of its rivers. These efforts have led to an increase in fish populations and have created a more conducive habitat for migratory birds. The sighting of these Chinese mergansers indicates that the water quality in the reserve and its ecological environment has continued to improve," He said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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