In the early morning of March 6, thousands of yellow ducks, ruddy shelducks, Tibetan mandarin ducks, brown-headed gulls, bar-headed geese, and other birds were playing and soaring in Ruo’ergaihua Lake, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. In the depths of the grassland wetland, a group of black-necked cranes, a national first-class protected animal, which has just returned from a “vacation” on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, is strolling among the water and grass searching for food.
In the morning, Sonam Dorje, chief of the Scientific Research Section of the Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau, and Ruke, a wetland conservationist, carefully observed the birds in the wetland with high-powered telescopes. “The number and types of species have increased over the same period in previous years. This year, the first group of black-necked cranes flew back half a month earlier than before!” According to statistics from the nature reserve, 407 black-necked cranes were found in 1999, 893 in 2013, and around 1,000 in 2018. More than 1,200 black-necked cranes were found in 2020.