90 percent of migratory Siberian cranes stay at NE China nature reserve

General Press Releases Tuesday November 14, 2017 09:11
ZHENLAI, China--14 Nov--Xinhua-AsiaNet/InfoQuest

A large number of Siberian cranes have recently arrived at the state-level Momoge Nature Reserve in Zhenlai County, northeast China's Jilin Province during their southward migration journey. They take a rest and feed here, which is a harmonious scene.

In Zhenlai, the most important stop for the endangered migratory species, the number of Siberian cranes stands as many as 3,000, or about 90 percent of its total population worldwide. They stay here for some 130 days a year.

The white cranes are under first-class protection in China and on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In autumn, the white cranes leave Russia's Siberia for Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, where they spend the winter. They return to the north in April the next year. The whole migration trip is more than 10,000 km long.

Zhenlai, which neighbors China's Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia region, is dubbed as the hometown of Siberian cranes. The fragile species has stern requirements for food and living environment. Meadow rush, a special grass which grows in the 144,000-hectare wetlands in Zhenlai, is the favorite for Siberian cranes.

In recent years, the county has carried out multiple water conservancy projects which connect lakes to rivers, restored degraded wetlands, enlarged the area of wetlands and improved ecological environment, offering a favorable habitat for more and more rare bird species.

The county attaches great importance to protecting ecological environment and advances the construction of an ecological economic zone in western Jilin. It has made great efforts to develop organic agriculture and adopted a negative list for industry access, transforming the once saline-alkali soil land into a lush place of fish and rice.

In 2009, the county began to abandon the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The area of paddy fields has increased from 26,000 hectares in the late 1980s to 90,000 hectares today. Its organic rice has become a popular brand.

The Momoge Nature Reserve is home to 10 bird species under first-class state protection and 42 bird species under second-class protection. The county's publicity authorities are promoting local white crane culture to attract the attention of more people to the protection of the species.

Source: Zhenlai Momoge Nature Reserve Bureau
AsiaNet 71023

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