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Land of the rising swan

Updated: Jun 30, 2022 By Cheng Yuezhu in Beijing and Mao Weihua in Urumqi China Daily Print
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Bogda Peak [Photo provided to China Daily]

Also, the wetlands are an abundant source of food. "The diet of swans chiefly comprises weed and plankton, which are found in plenty at Bayanbulak. They spend half a year at the reserve, feeding and nesting. It allows them to recharge themselves for the next round of migration," he explains.

The reserve's administrative bureau has set up a central management station with wardens of the reserve, who work to protect the swans. The station has six full-time custodians and recruits six more to help during the busy season, which is from March to October.

Na Qing from the Mongolian ethnic group has been a full-time warden since 2016. He visits the wetlands three to five times a week, observes and records swan behavior, prevents interference of any kind and also keeps tabs on other wildlife species.

Occasionally, Na and his colleagues encounter ailing or injured swans, besides other animals, and transport them to the reserve's rescue center. Every year, at least 30 to 50 animals and birds are rescued.

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