GUANGZHOU, 8 December (BelTA - Xinhua). - Forty-five Chinese mergansers, an endangered bird species under class-one state protection, have been spotted in the Ruyuan Yao Autonomous County in Shaoguan, south China's Guangdong Province.
It is the first time for the surrounding area of Nanling Mountain to record the rare species, said the provincial forestry bureau on Tuesday.
This species is a Tertiary Period relict species and has lived on Earth for more than 10 million years. It is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list, with Russia's Far East and northeast China officially regarded as the bird's major reproduction bases.
Starting from October every year, the endangered ducks migrate to the Yangtze River basin and south of the river for winter.
The bird is used to monitor the ecological environment as it is very picky about its living environment and is sensitive to environmental changes.
The appearance of the species in the area indicates that the ecological environment in Guangdong has improved a lot, according to Zhang Qiang, deputy director of the Institute of Zoology under the Guangdong Academy of Sciences.