On 2nd February, 2022 World Wetlands Day, the EAAFP and its Partners celebrate Rongcheng Swan National Nature Reserve in the People’s Republic of China as the new Flyway Network Site (EAAF 152). This marks the 20th Flyway Network Site (FNS) in the country. The site is one of the largest wintering grounds of Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus.
Rongcheng Swan National Nature Reserve is located in Shandong Province, west coast of the Yellow Sea in China. The site has several main rivers flowing through the Nature Reserve, including Bailong River, Madao River, Shishui River, Huakuang River and a few more. This makes the site rich in habitat diversity, comprising tidal flats, estuary, while the sand bar lagoon system is a typical geomorphic feature of the site.
With its geographic location and wetland habitats, the site is internationally important to migrator waterbirds in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway, for over 20,000 waterbirds estimated to use the site annually. In particular, Rongcheng Swan Nature Reserve, as suggested in its name, is home to over 6,000 Whooper Swan (Class II National Key Protected Wild Animal List, IUCN status: LC) during the non-breeding season, covering about 11% of the species’ flyway population.
In addition, the FNS has records of 12 globally threatened species under the IUCN Red List:
- Critically Endangered (CR) species: Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri
- Endangered (EN) species: Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus, Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis and Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
- Vulnerable (VU) species: Hooded Crane Grus monachal, Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes, Swan Goose Anser cygnoides, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus, Great Bustard Otis tarda and Relict Gull Larus relictus.
For more information, please visit: https://www.eaaflyway.net/china/