Number of black-necked cranes increases in Yunnan

[InKunming--Yunnan] The number of endangered black-necked cranes that flocked to southwest China's Yunnan Province for winter migration has hit a record high, authorities said Thursday.

As of Tuesday, a total of 1,545 such cranes had been spotted in the Yunnan Dashanbao National Nature Reserve for Black-necked Cranes, and the number is still increasing, said Zheng Yuanjian with the reserve.

"Compared with previous years, the number of cranes has significantly increased," Zheng said. "There are 500 to 600 more cranes this year."

Zheng said that the rising number shows that the environment in Dashanbao Township is getting better.

Authorities of the nature reserve have taken a variety of means in recent years to increase the area of wetland and improve the ecosystem to provide a good living environment for the birds. They also boosted public awareness about protecting the birds.

Black-necked cranes inhabit meadows, wetlands, and lakes at an altitude from 2,500 to 5,000 meters. They mainly live in highlands in China, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. They are under Class One national protection in China.

With an estimated population of around 10,200, the species is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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