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Introduction to China Birds

Introduction to China Birds 
With her vast territory, complex topographies, various climates, and many rivers and mountains with rich wetlands & plants, China plays an important role in wildlife heritage and protection, as well as rich biodiversities. There are over 4400 species of vertebrates including 1260 species of birds, more than 430 mammals, 208 reptiles and more than 2300 fishes. As to the species number, there are 9800  species of birds world wide by the year 2000, and in China numbers varies in species as 1244 (1994 by Zhen Zuoxing), 1253(Cheng Tso Hsin),  1260, 1329 (by Mackinon in 2000).
About 100 species of birds distributes in China only, such as Crested Ibis (Nipponia Nippon, in Yangxian, Shaanxi), Brown Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon Mantchuricum, Huanglongshan area, Shananxi), Tragopan caboti, Lophorus lhuysii, Chrysolophus pictus, Syrmaticus reevesii, Lophura swinhoii (Taiwan), Oriolus mellianus, Paradoxornis zappeyi, Garrulax sukatschewi, Kozlowia Roborowhkii (Tibet), Emberiza koslowi etc; some life and species plays important role in biodiversities, such as Phaethontidae,  Upupidae, Muscicapidae, Prunellidae, Gaviidae, Phalaropodidae, Certhiidae, Bombycillidae, Fregatidae, Gruidae, Rostratulidae, Cinclidae. There are 15 cranes and 9 of them recorded in China, and China is rightly famed for the rare cranes such as Grus leucogeranus (White Crane), Grus nigricollis (Black-necked crane), Grus Japonensis (Red-crowned Crane).
As to protect some endangered birds, in 1980 about 53 species of birds listed in China National Protected Wildlife, and in 1988 about 225 species of birds listed in the name-list, and 41 species in Category No.1, 184 species in category No.2.
And till now China there are more than 50 reserves established to protect birds, such as Qinghai Lake, Swan Lake in Xinjiang, Zhalong in Heilongjiang, Xianghai in Jilin, Wuliangshuhai in Inner Mongolia, Poyang Lake in Jiangxi, Yancheng Wetland in Jiangsu, Caihai Lake in Guizhou; and routes protected for bird migrates such as Beidaihei in Hebei, Changdao in Shandong.
Distribution of China Birds 
A research & study finished in 1987 shows that there are more than 1900 species and subspecies of birds (both resident and migrants), and most as 689 of them occurring in the mountain range of southwestern China, 417 in southern Yunnan, and only 78 in Qiangtang high Plateau (Tibet). 
As its varies in province, the richest in species number is Yunnan as 802 species, and 2nd is Sichuan as 628 species of birds, 3rd Guizhou as 417 species of birds.
The distribution area for breeding species and subspecies as follow(area name and location area, species, % in China):
Northeastern China
Daxing Anling Mountain range,  215, 11.38%
Changbaishan mountain range, 242  12.81%
Northern China
Yellow River & Huaihe plain, 149,  7.89%
Huangtu (Yellow Earth) Plaetau, 230  12.18%
Xinjiang & Inner Mongolia
Eastern Grassland, 167  8.84%
Western Desert, 278  14.72%
Tianshan Range 229  12.12%
Qingzang Plaetau
Qiangtang Plaetau  78  4.13%
Qinghai and Southern Tibet  331  17.52%
Southwestern China
Mountain Range  689  36.47%
Southern Yunnan 417  22.06%
Central China
Eastern plain and hills, 241  12.76%
Western mountain range and plaetau  329  17.42%
Southern China
Coastal area of Fujian and Guangdong   251  13.29%
Taiwan  166  8.79%
(above distribution from Outlines of China Birds Distribution by Peng Yanzhang etc)
Birds with migrating activities in China accounts for 541 of total species of birds, according to the survey done in 1987.  Survey shows that Ciconia ciconia, Larus argentatus, L ridibundus etc fly to China for winter from Russia, Auser indicus, Larus ichthyactus, Netta rufina etc migrates to India for wintering from China; and birds such as Calidris feruginea etc wintering in India and fly to breeding area through China; wintering in Austrolia fly to breeding area through Chna; and birds such as Auser fabalis migrates between China and Europe,;and Nycticorax nycticorax, Turna fuscata, Grus vipio migrate between Japan and China.
Migrating pattarns of birds as follow:
Resident: 544 species, 45.9%
Summer resident, 137, 11.5%
Winter resident, 91, 7.7%
Traveler or migrant, 20 , 1.7%
Migrant, 354, 29.8%
Straggler birds  40, 3.4%
There are 3 birds migrating routes (migratory channels) in China
1, East China. These migratory birds breeding in Northeast China and North China, as well as breeding in Russia, Korean Peninsula, Mongolia migrate southward along the coastal line to South China, and Yangtze area, some birds even migrating on to Japan, Malaysia, Austrolia for wintering in autumn; they fly back in spring for breeding; and some staying in Shangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu etc for energy recovery, even for wintering.
2, Middle China. Breeding migratory birds in Eastern and Middle Inner Mongolia, Eastern part of north China, and Shanxi migrate along Taihangshan Mountain Range, Lvliangshan Range, and fly over Qinling Mountain Range and Dabashan Range to Sichuan Basin, and some birds fly to downstream Yangtze River area even party of birds to South China for wintering in autumn.
3, West China. Breeding birds in Grassland  and desert of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Ningxia etc  will fly to Sichuan Basin, Yungui Plateau, even to India for wintering in autumn via Animachen, Bayankala mountain, Qionglai shan ranged and Hengduan Mountains Ranges; and breeding birds in Tibet will migrate into 2 direction, one is to India and Nepal while across Hilm