Researchers track rare water bird's movements

By Chen Liang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-02 09:20
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A single white-naped crane (second from right) joins a flock of common cranes flying over the Miyun Reservoir area in November 2013. [Photo by Chen Liang/China Daily]

Conservation strategy

He hopes better measures can be implemented in future large-scale projects to balance the relationship between conservation and development and achieve harmony between humans and nature.

Migratory water birds such as the white-naped crane need their habitats to be protected throughout their life cycle, he said, with any problems in breeding, resting, or wintering areas proving disastrous for migratory species.

The western population's breeding and wintering grounds are mainly within nature reserves and under better protection. However, Jia said, its staging and stopover sites — usually not in protected areas — need joint conservation efforts from scientists, local governments and people, conservation NGOs and volunteers.

In the Shandian River area, he said their research work had received local herders' support. "We helped them establish a volunteer association to protect birds in the area and provided training to volunteers," Jia said. "In this way, all relevant stakeholders can work together to protect the cranes."

He said the Chinese population of the white-naped crane had remained almost stable for a decade, and "with further research, we expect to find better ways to restore the population".

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