As the weather turns warm, 310 black-necked cranes with the largest group of 240 in number have been recorded in the Jiatang grassland in Chindu County, Yushu Tibetan Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province, according to the county's environmental protection and forestry department.
Jiatang grassland is the second largest of its kind in Yushu, with an average altitude of above 3,700 meters. In 2014, around 170 black-necked cranes migrated here, which increased to 285 in 2015 and to more than 300 in the year 2016 and 2017.
Wang Enguang, vice chief of the Forestry Department of Qinghai, said wading birds such as black-necked cranes are picky about their habitat, as an indicative species, their existence signals the local environment being improving.
Black-necked cranes, as an indicative species of ecology changes on plateau, mainly inhabit in plateau meadows, swamps, and reed-swamps between 2,500 and 5,000 meters above sea level. As the only crane species which inhabits and breeds on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau among the 15 crane species worldwide, it was added to China's list of first-class protected wildlife species in 1989. In 1997, black-necked cranes were also added to appendix of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).