Lake is one of the most important wintering places for migratory
waterbirds in Asia. 98% of the world’s population
of Siberian cranes (Grus leucogeranus), 60% of the White-naped
cranes (Grus vipio), 50% of the swan geese Anser cygnoides
and tens of thousands of other waterbirds spend the winter
here. It is the largest freshwater lake in China, with an
area of 3,955 km2 in flood season.
Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve (PNR) is located south
of the Yangtze River, in northern Jiangxi Province. It covers
six percent of the total area of the Poyang Lake basin.
Unfortunately, nature reserve management is hampered by
the lack of skilled technical personnel. Essential information
on relationships linking wintering waterbirds with water
levels and with the distribution of food plants is missing
The Three Gorges Dam and other major water projects deeply
affect the mid Yangtze Basin. This project aims to determine
the relationship between cranes and aquatic plants, water
levels and turbidity at Poyang Lake. Developing an approach
for data collecting and analysing is another objective.
The project also seeks to build capacity for the reserve
project staff. To achieve these objectives, the project
will focus on the following six main activities:
- vegetation sampling,
- tuber sampling,
- water level and water quality sampling,
- crane habitat-use sampling,
- establishment of a database and
- capacity building for project staff.
The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is co-ordinating
the project. It is implemented with the participation of
the Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve (PNR), the Jiangxi
Forestry Department, and the Jiangxi Mountains, Rivers,
and Lakes Information Center (MRL). Besides CMS funding,
the project is receiving matching financial support from
ICF and other sources.