(ECNS) -- Wild whooper swans have been found giving birth to five swan babies at the Manas national wetland park in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for the first time.
Ma Ming, an expert from the China ornithological society, said it is very rare to see the breeding of wild whooper swans here.
“Wild whooper swans usually breed in the Bayinbuluke Grassland and Irtysh River basin, or further north such as the North Pole or Siberia. Their breeding here really surprised me,” Ma said.
The Manas national wetland park is an important habitat and breeding ground for migratory birds from across the world. Manas County has invested a total of 300 million yuan (about $41.90 million) into wetland protection since 2010.
Experts said that whooper swans have strict requirements for breeding environment and that their breeding here shows that the wetland park has provided them a high-level living environment.
“We have been studying whooper swans for more than 30 years since the 1990s and never heard they bred here. This is the first case, which shows that the local environment has met their requirements, including for food and safety,” said Ma.
The whooper swan is a second-class protected animal in China. They leave their breeding grounds in November and migrate to their wintering habitats, returning in March.