The villagers of Liangzi lake in Wuhan plant Gordon Euryale seed in a large area, which attracts the rare water birds, the Sterna acuticauda and the long-tailed pheasant, to build their homes | CBCGDF Will establish a Community Conservation Area
2020/8/2 16:08:00 本站

"I found it unintentionally. I didn't realize that the lake could attract so many rare birds," said Mr. Guan, a volunteer of CBCGDF, who came across the vibrant lake in Jiangxia district in 2017 while riding a high-speed train. On July 23, Mr. Guan made a special appointment with a local media photographer who specializes in bird photography to visit the large freshwater lake area again.


This is a large lake area of lush water grass, located in the Xianren Lake area of Liangzi Lake in Jiangxia where few people visit. When Mr. Guan and his team arrived at the lake, they found that large groups of sterna acuticauda and long-tailed pheasants were nesting, courting, brooding, and raising young on the lake. Since Mr. Guan and his team are far away from the lake, they observe them mostly through high-powered telescopes. So, the sterna acuticauda and long-tailed pheasant, as well as the young Pheasants, are living happily in the lake and not being disturbed. In the footage, being desperate to build a nest, sterna acuticauda pick up long water plants in their beaks, ready to build or repair their homes. The courting pheasant, on the other hand, flies up and down in a strange dance, and the baby long-tailed pheasant carried by the father of the pheasant is carefully learning to feed on the water of Gordon Euryale seed; The terns repeatedly performed the difficult movements of taking off, hovering, diving, pulling, and spinning in place. Small? grebe seems to be lucky, too. After a long dive, it gets a big fish in his mouth when he emerges from the lake for its lunch.


"It is hard to see such a pleasant lake surface where water birds gather together which seems like heaven, and a variety of rare water birds stay together to be neighbors with each other, living and fostering their offspring harmoniously, such scene is really warm and touching", Mr. Guan has learned that this area was planted by lotus before though visiting local villagers, which is nearly two years just to switch to a large area of Gordon Euryale seed. Gordon Euryale seed is a large water lily with folded and spiny leaves. The diameter of the leaves can be up to 1 meter. The leaves overlap with each other, making it an ideal platform for aquatic birds to live. Unexpectedly, after being changed to plant Gordon Euryale seed, it has attracted so many precious guests this year.


It has been recorded that sterna acuticauda was originally distributed mainly in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, and other places in Southeast Asia. In China, it is only a traveling bird. Generally, they prefer to live in grass lakes far away from human activities. Because freshwater habitats such as rivers or lakes are extremely vulnerable to erosion or destruction during economic development, sterna acuticauda 's habitat in China has been rapidly shrinking in recent decades, and in 2000, they were listed as wildlife under state protection which is beneficial or of important economic or scientific value in China. It is also listed as endangered on the 2012 IUCN Red List of endangered species, and its population is declining rapidly. Also, Book of Songs recorded and called long-tailed pheasant as fairy walking over ripples, previously had common breeding in an area lower than 32 degrees north latitude in China. Affected by economic activity, they all disappeared from the areas which were original widely distributed including Hunan, Hubei, Fujian, and other places, even in the current domestic recognized the largest water pheasant population is located in Jiangxi village, Yongan Town, Zhaoqing, Guangdong province, there is only more than 1500.


According to the data Mr. Guan and his team took from Xianren Lake, the water is now home to thousands of sterna acuticauda and hundreds of long-tailed pheasants and a variety of unnamed diving birds. Many nestlings of which have broken out of their shells and are exploring and learning foraging skills.


"Nowhere is already a breeding ground for sterna acuticauda and long-tailed pheasant, on one hand, we are surprised, on the one hand, we also hope it can be preserved for a long time to avoid the fate of the constructive development damage like other wetlands. Planting Gordon Euryale seed in a large area is not only beneficial to the local farmers to be out of poverty and become rich, but also can provide habitat for fish, tern, pheasants, and other rare species". For this, Mr. Guan decided to apply to CBCGDF to set up Community Conservation Area for sterna acuticauda, he hopes that in the future he can fully communicate with the local community, To make people aware of the precious value of Gordon Euryale seed in this lake area and the remarkable ecological benefits it has produced, and to mobilize everyone to protect the new home of sterna acuticauda and the long-tailed pheasant.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)

Original Chinese article:

By / Liu Xiling (Volunteer)

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