Tibet world's largest winter habitat for black-necked cranes

Tibet has become the world's largest winter habitat for a critically endangered crane following enhanced conservation efforts and public awareness campaign, researchers said.

Tibet world's largest winter habitat for black-necked cranes

Beijing: Tibet has become the world's largest winter habitat for a critically endangered crane following enhanced conservation efforts and public awareness campaign, researchers said.

Tibet is currently temporary home to 7,000 to 8,000 black-necked cranes, around 70 per cent of the world's total.

"It has turned into a winter haven for this critically endangered species," Dawa Tsering, researcher with the Tibet Autonomous Regional Academy of Social Sciences said.

Fewer than 3,000 black-necked cranes came to Tibet in 1995, Tsering has been quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

The birds are native to the plateau regions of China, India, Bhutan and Nepal. Attracted by a warm climate and abundant food, such as barley, wheat and grassroots, thousands of them migrate to Tibet's river valleys from mid-October and spend winter there.

The black-necked crane is among more than 90 endangered species on China's top protection list, along with the giant panda and golden monkey.

Tibet Autonomous region now has 47 nature reserves, covering 412,200 sq km, or 34.35 per cent of the region's land area.

Numbers of other rare and endangered species, such as wild yaks and Tibetan wild donkeys, are also steadily growing, the report said.

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