Anatidae in eastern China during the non-breeding season: Geographical distributions and protection status

L. Cao, Y. Zhang, M. Barter, G. Lei

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Eastern China’s Anatidae are globally important, occurring in large numbers and exhibiting very high diversity; however populations have declined greatly since the 1950s due to habitat loss and degradation, and poaching. To meet the urgent need for up-to-date conservation information, we conducted extensive surveys of the region’s inland and coastal wetlands to collect data on current Anatidae numbers, distributions and key sites. This paper provides information on the non-breeding distributions of 27 species and how these have changed during the last 30 years, and discusses the protection status afforded to Anatidae and their habitats. About 80% of eastern China’s Anatidae occur at inland wetlands, predominantly within the Yangtze River floodplain. Current distributions of most species are different to those of the late-1970s; range contraction, range shift and northward expansion have occurred. Approximately 45% of the total Anatidae population, and high proportions of five globally threatened species populations, were located within National Nature Reserves; coverage could be increased to ca. 65% by inclusion of additional important Anatidae sites within the National Reserve system. However, a number of important issues, such as management skilling and control of land use within reserves, need to be addressed if National Nature Reserves are to provide satisfactory protection for Anatidae. It is also highly desirable that the China National List of Protected Animals include all the relevant Anatidae species on the IUCN Red List to provide a high level of protection for globally threatened species
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-659
JournalBiological Conservation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • wetlands
  • birds


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