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Critically endangered wild ducks find home in Jining| Updated: May 12, 2022


A Baer's pochard is spotted in Nansihu Reserve in Yutun town, Jining. [Photo/Dazhong Daily]

The Baer's pochard, a critically endangered wild duck species, has been frequently seen in Shandong Nansihu Provincial Reserve in Yutun town, Jining recently, as the birds' annual reproduction season just started.

According to a survey conducted in 2020, the entire population of Baer's pochards worldwide is no more than 1,600, and about 400 have been spotted in the Nansihu Reserve.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has designated it as a "critically endangered" species and the duck is under first-class State-level production in China.

"Baer's pochards prefer lakes, ponds, and marshes that have lagging water and rich aquatic plants," said Guo Baojin, a researcher at the reserve's service center.

"The ducks have high standards when choosing their habitat, thus their appearance and increasing population are regarded as an indicator of environmental improvement," Guo added.

In recent years, Jining has made continuous efforts to restore its wetlands and reduce human intervention at natural reserves.

"The ecological environment has been significantly improved, as the area of aquatic plants like bulrush and wild lotuses keep expanding," Guo said.

Since the Baer's pochards started to settle down in the reserve in Yutun town in late 2021, the town's authority has taken a series of measures to protect the ducks, including 24-hour monitoring of the area, and planting more aquatic plants that attract the ducks.

The town is also planning to set up an observatory and monitoring facilities to refine the local wild animal protection mechanism.