To date, the focus for waterbird monitoring in the central and lower Yangtze floodplain has been the internationally important wintering waterbird populations. However, the region also supports important concentrations of breeding waterbirds, so efforts are now also underway to develop our knowledge of their numbers and distribution.
As part of this work, Xudong Tao, programme officer for the WWT/WWF Yangtze Waterbird Monitoring Network was invited by the Wanghu Lake Nature Reserve to undertake a survey of breeding birds at Wanghu Lake NR in July 2016. This was the first survey of waterbirds undertaken in the summer at Wanghu Lake and contributed to a comprehensive year round survey of the sites biodiversity that is being organised by the NR staff.
During the survey, large number of egrets and Whiskered Tern were counted, together with a significant count of Cotton Pygmy-goose. However, the most important discovery was that in one part of the reserve, named Ronghu Lake, 750 pairs of Pheasant-tailed Jacana were recorded, with an average of three chicks per pair, making this the largest count of the species in the country in recent years.