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More water birds recorded at Zhanjiang nature reserve

Updated: 2016-11-10

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The Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve is expected to see more water birds active in the area this year.

Officials at the nature reserve said that although the 2016 monitoring survey is still underway, the current data collected indicates there will be significantly more water birds than in 2015.

The bird watching work has been conducted annually in the nature reserve since 2002, with observers in the area recording 28,862 water birds of 61 species in 2015. Every January, when migratory birds begin to move, staff members set up fixed monitoring zones in the reserve to record numbers and species of birds.

The monitor is a part of a global water bird survey, with the data being used as a basis to evaluate water bird numbers worldwide.

A spoon-billed sandpiper seen in Zhanjiang. [File Photo]

Staff members at the reserve observed two endangered spoon-billed sandpipers at the end of October, adding to the tally of 43 being spotted so far this year in the Leizhou Peninsula - a positive sign.

The global population of the spoon-billed sandpipers has declined from an estimated 2,000–2,800 breeding pairs in the 1970s to less than 100 pairs by 2011, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve has cooperated with the Zhanjiang Bird Watching Society this year to conduct monthly surveys in mangrove protection areas in Leizhou. The bird data they have collected will be used to appraise changes in the ecological environment at the reserve. It will also serve as a theoretical basis for the Zhanjiang National Nature Reserve to adjust management strategies.

In recent years, Zhanjiang's bird watching societies have been trying to raise awareness of conservation among the public.

A young spoon-billed sandpiper was first spotted at a beach area in Donghai Island, Zhanjiang, on April 11, 2016. [Photo by Chen Fan and Guang Xiangyu/Zhanjiang Daily]