Rare black storks flock to Guangyuan

cngy.gov.cn | Updated: March 28, 2024
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Black storks stand elegantly in the river in Guangyuan, Sichuan province. [Photo provided to cngy.gov.cn]

Recently, a significant sighting occurred at the confluence of the Bailong River and Jialing River, where a group of 16 black storks made a rare appearance.

This is a notable first for Guangyuan, a city in Southwest China's Sichuan province, as such a sizable population of black storks has never been documented before in this region.

The black stork is an endangered species, of which roughly about 1,000 remain within China's borders. Due to its rarity, the black stork is also known as the "giant panda among birds" and it is listed as a first-level protected wild animal the country.

Black storks inhabit waters or open wetlands near mountainous areas. They prefer areas with less interference and good evironmental quality where they subsist primarily on a diet comprising fish and other aquatic creatures.

Historically, black storks were widespread across Eurasia and Africa, yet their numbers have dwindled significantly in recent decades, leading to local extinctions in many of their traditional breeding grounds.

In recent years, Guangyuan has placed emphasis on biodiversity conservation efforts. These have included establishing a 1,775.73 sq-km area of the city as an environmental protection red line.

Thanks to rigorous monitoring of that landscape, a plethora of nationally protected wild animals, including those classified at the first and second protection levels, have been documented multiple times within key watersheds under the city's jurisdiction.

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