Swans choose southern Shanxi for winter
Swans fly over Shengtian Lake Wetland in Ruicheng county, southern Shanxi province. [Photo/IC]
Flocks of wild swans have recently been seen at Shengtian Lake Wetland in Ruicheng county, southern Shanxi province.
"The swans have been arriving since the beginning of November, and the total number has reached about 3,000," said Li Kang, deputy director of Ruicheng county's forestry bureau.
Shengtian Lake Wetland which used to be a beach on the Yellow River shore has attracted increasing numbers of wild swans from Siberia and Mongolia looking for a place to spend the winter months. The increasing numbers since 2000 are thought to be down to local environmental protection efforts.
Swans in Shengtian Lake Wetland in Ruicheng county, southern Shanxi province. [Photo/IC]
Apart from the wetland, the wintering habitats of swans in Shanxi are mainly concentrated in the Sanwan Wetland in Pinglu county, also in southern Shanxi.
According to Wang Yifei, director of the wildlife protection division of Shanxi Forestry and Grassland Bureau, wild swans usually fly to wetlands along the Yellow River in southern Shanxi to stay through the winter from mid-to-late October to the end of February the following year.
Three swans take to the sky at Shengtian Lake Wetland. [Photo/IC]
The reason why swans choose Shanxi for the winter months is the availability of food as well as the suitable climate, wildlife conservation experts believe.
In recent years, Shanxi has stepped up afforestation efforts and strengthened water and wetland ecological protection, resulting in an improved habitat for birds in the area.
"The swan habitats are located in the traditional agricultural area of Shanxi, and the corn and wheat grown there are also foods favored by swans," said Wang.
Local government departments have also set up dedicated teams to carry out uninterrupted patrols at key times of the year in an effort to prevent hunting and to rescue injured and lost swans.
A flock of swans photographed in Shengtian Lake Wetland in Ruicheng county, southern Shanxi province [Photo/IC]