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Black-necked cranes find good habitat in Lhasa

China Tibet Online)  19:39, February 25, 2013  

Black-necked cranes on Feb. 22 at the Hutou Mountain Reservoir, Lhunzhub County, Lhasa [Photo/ Chinanews.com]

The moment the dawn breaks, the black-necked cranes taking habitat at Hutou Mountain Reservoir, Lhunzhub County of Lhasa are already roaming around, foraging and chirping from time to time. They have spent nearly a whole winter here and are about to migrate to the south.

As a rare specie of plateau cranes, blacked-necked cranes are regarded by locals as holy and auspicious birds .

Zhang Linbao, director-general of the Forestry Bereau of Lhunzhub County, says that Tibet is home to the approximately 6,000 black-necked cranes, ranking top in China and the world.

He adds that the Lhunzhub County to the east of Lhasa alone boasts one third of the total black-necked cranes in Tibet. In as early as 1993, a natural reserve was set up, providing a favorable habitat for over a thousand back-necked cranes in winter from mid-October to late March the next year.

The Hutou Mountain Reservoir, surrounded by mountains, forms a natural harbor for these rare animals owing to its enough sunlight, clear water and exuberant trees.

Denzin Drolkar, 16, a villager near the reservoir started to meet with back-necked cranes since she was a child. "They come here every year and we all like them but have never disturbed them. So they are not afraid of us when they see us while searching for food in the field," she says.

As animals under top state protection, blacked necked cranes have enjoyed “special treatment” here.

According to Zhang Linbao, the government has hired patrollers and supervisors, with the former in charge of patrolling all the habitats and preventing illegal killing, while the latter in charge of disease detection and reporting. Meanwhile, surveillance cameras have been installed at all six habitats in the county to track their activities.

However, extreme weather does have a negative effect on their forage. Zhang says,supplementary feeding has already been proposed to the superior as a key alternative measure,which is expected to be approved soon.

(Editor:YaoChun、Zhang Qian)

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