Liaoning stopover for migrants inc Siberian cranes

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    Martin W

    posted to Oriental Bird Club email group by Michael Rank:

    An important migration passage site for Siberian crane, oriental stork
    and other species has been discovered in northeast China, OBC China rep
    Ding Changqing and Wang Qishan, crane and waterbird specialist with the
    China Ornithological Society, report in the Chinese Journal of Zoology
    They made a brief survey of the site, 150 km north of Shenyang, in
    April when they met members of the Liaoning Environmental Protection
    Volunteers’ Association, who told them the birds stop off at Huanzidong
    (Badger Cave) reservoir in Faku county between March 15 and April 15
    and October 1 and November 15.
    In November 2005 [up to] 213 Siberian cranes and 32 oriental storks
    were seen; on March 29, 2006, 423 Siberian cranes were recorded,
    together with 13 hooded cranes, nine white-naped cranes, 40 oriental
    storks and over 1,000 Baikal teal. On April 7, 2006 swan geese, mute
    swans, white-fronted geese, Eurasian spoonbills and ospreys were also
    seen (numbers not given). According to preliminary estimates the
    reservoir is a resting place for up to 20,000 waterbirds on spring
    migration, of which Siberian crane, oriental stork, white-naped crane,
    hooded crane and Baikal teal account for over one per cent of the
    global population, so the site meets Ramsar and IBA criteria. But the
    reservoir is not managed and there is uncontrolled fishing and many
    birds are caught in fishing nets, while others are baited with poison
    or illegally netted and land reclamation is also a problem, as is
    possible disease from poultry farming. In April the WWF agreed to
    assist the Liaoning Volunteers in their survey and propaganda work.
    Huanzidong reservoir covers 1,200 hectares as well as 200 hectares of
    wetland and 70 hectares of reedbeds. Most of the reservoir is about 0.5
    metres deep, there are plenty of aquatic plants and fish for the birds
    to feed on.
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