The vegetation coverage rate of surrounding areas at Dianchi Lake in Kunming, capital city of Southwest China's Yunnan province, rose from 13.1 percent in 2007 to 81 percent last June, according to data from the Dianchi Lake Administration Bureau.
Meanwhile, the number of the species of plants and birds at Dianchi Lake surged from 232 to 303 and from 89 to 139 respectively over the same period.
A total of 54 wetlands have been fully interconnected with Dianchi Lake, building an ideal habitat for the survival of aquatic birds and writing a new chapter in biological diversity.
Wang Zhibin, deputy secretary-general of the Kunming Ornithological Society, kicked off a new round of activities to monitor gulls when the first batch of black-headed gulls came to Dianchi Lake on October 8, 2022.
Wang said that the number of black-headed gulls was anticipated to reach about 40,000 this year, and that local people have learned to live in harmony with them over the past three decades. He added that Kunming has set up special sites for the public to feed black-headed gulls and that it could explain the continual rise in the number of wild birds spending the winter there.
Han Lianxian, an ornithological expert from Southwest Forestry University, has conducted research on wild birds and witnessed their dramatic increase at Dianchi Lake over the past four decades.
According to Han, the total number of aquatic birds at Dianchi Lake has reached about 100,000, with black-headed gulls numbering the most. In addition, there are also rare birds wintering in the region.
Li Jiming, a member of the Yunnan Wild Birds Society, said that a large number of aquatic birds of different species now winter at Dianchi Lake because of the consistent improvement of its ecological environment.