11 endangered birds appear in Tai'an
A close-up look at two oriental white storks. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Eleven oriental white storks, known as the "panda" of birds, were spotted in the Wenhe River basin in Taishan district in Tai'an on Jan 27.
The oriental white stocks are only found in China and Russia, and the number of wild ones in China is around 7,400.
It is a large bird living in swamps and near water, with a body length of up to 1.2 meters and a wingspan of up to 1.5 m. The bird's body feathers are pure white, and the wing feathers are black with a green or purple luster.
The birds spend the winter mainly in wetland lakes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
Due to the reduction of suitable shelters, illegal hunting, pesticides and chemical pollution, the population of oriental white storks has dwindled. It has been listed as an endangered species on the Red Species List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is protected at the national level.
The Taishan district belongs to the "East Asia-Australia migration zone" of the nine global migratory bird migration routes. It has a good ecological environment and complex landscape, and is an important staging ground for migratory birds.
In recent years, the Mount Tai Scenic Area and bird lovers have worked together to protect and promote wildlife, and the number of wild bird species has risen from 148 to 370, further enriching the connotation of Mount Tai, a UNESCO natural and cultural heritage site.
A group of oriental white storks aloft in Tai'an. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]