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Globally rare black-necked cranes face survival crisis

By : InKunming|Updated: 2011-11-01

The black-necked cranes (grus nigricollis), which are under the first-class protection of China, are facing huge survival crisis due to the sudden drop of water level in Napa Lake which lies in the northwest of Shangri-la County, southwest China’s Yunnan province. The drop of water level in the lake decreases the water area of foraging, while Napa Lake is the only habitat for them to live in Yunnan. [Photo/Xie Hui]

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Grus nigricollis breeds on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China, with a small population in adjacent Ladakh, India. Six wintering areas have been identified at lower altitudes on the Qinghai-Tibet and Yunnan-Guizhou plateaus, China, including counts of 3,562 birds in Yunnan and western Guizhou in winter 2003 and, in Tibet, 4,277 in 1999 increasing to 6,940 in 2007. These figures imply a total world population of approximately 11,000 individuals.

This species is classified as vulnerable because it has a single small population that is declining owing to the loss and degradation of wetlands, and changing agricultural practices in both its breeding and wintering grounds.

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