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Chinese mergansers spotted in Nanyang

Updated: Nov 29, 2017 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Chinese mergansers, an endangered species of bird under state protection, have been spotted at Baihe River in Nanyang over the past two months by Wang Yuezhong, a local shutterbug.

The striking sea duck has a thin bill, red legs and a crest of wispy elongated feathers. The adult male features a black head, mantle and wings, while the female is distinguished by its red head, grey mantle and wings.

According to Wang, he first spotted a male Chinese merganser at Baihe River on Oct 20 while in the process of photographing birds. After confirming it as a Chinese merganser via the internet, he set off to find a female of the species in the city.

Chinese merganser, an endangered bird species under state protection, has been spotted at Baihe River in Nanyang over the past two months. [Photo/nydt.cn]

Often referred to as a "living fossil of birds", Chinese mergansers have been listed as a national first-level protected animal. The number of this species, which is faced with threats from fishing, vegetation destruction, habitat fragmentation, and water pollution, is dropping steadily.

At the end of 2015, traces left by Chinese mergansers were found at the Danjiang River Wetland National Nature Reserve in Nanyang by experts from the State Forestry Administration.

According to Wang Guangli, head of the resources protection division of Danjiang River Wetland National Nature Reserve, there are only around 1,000 Chinese mergansers left living in China, making them as scarce as giant pandas.

Chinese mergansers are picky about the water environment, requiring the water where they live to be absolutely clean and unpolluted. More than 10 years ago, they mainly lived in clear rivers and creeks. Now they are often spotted in the surrounding areas of reservoirs.

Wang Yuezhong, a local shutterbug fond of shooting birds, spots Chinese mergansers in Nanyang. [Photo/nydt.cn]

 

 

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