As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Critically endangered bird spotted in SW China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-24 23:28:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan

KUNMING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A white-bellied heron, also called Ardea insignis, a critically endangered bird species, was spotted and rescued in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities said Saturday.

The physically exhausted bird was found in Changning County by a local villager on Nov. 10, and transferred to the Wildlife Shelter and Rescue Center of Baoshan City for feeding and nursing after identification.

"The bird has been identified as a white-bellied heron," said Han Lianxian, an ornithologist and professor at Southwest Forestry University, adding that the bird is a large heron unique to the southern slopes of the Himalayas, and listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

"The bird may be a newborn and suffered from physical exhaustion as it strayed from its natural habitat," Han said.

The researchers conducted a two-day assessment of the bird's physical condition and whether it was fit for release. The bird was released from a vast river valley in Changning on Friday, after experts determined that it had regained its physical fitness and was able to survive in the wild.

"The scarcity of white-bellied herons is closely related to their stringent habitat requirements, making them an indicator species of river ecology," Han said.

Researchers have installed a satellite tracking recorder on the white-bellied heron's back and put on an ankle ring to monitor it and develop rescue measures.

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