This aerial photo taken on Nov. 7, 2022 shows scenery of a wetland around the Chaohu Lake in Hefei City, east China's Anhui Province.(Xinhua/Zhang Duan)
HEFEI, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Three Dalmatian pelicans, or Pelecanus crispus, were spotted at Chaohu Lake for the first time, in east China's Anhui Province, the fifth largest freshwater lake in the country.
The rare birds were photographed by a local biological resources survey team and two birdwatchers on Wednesday.
The number of Dalmatian pelicans, a national first-class protected species, is quite small in China. Therefore, it is rare to see three of them at the same time, according to Yu Lei, a bird expert on the local biological resources survey team.
"This wading bird, which feeds on fish, has a high level of alertness and requires a good living environment. The fishing ban in the lake and the improved environment are reasons behind the appearance of these pelicans," said Yu, adding that they migrated here to spend the winter.
More than 80 birds, such as little swans and cormorants, were also spotted on Wednesday at the lake.
Hefei City, where the lake is located, has taken a number of measures to strengthen the protection of 10 major wetlands around Chaohu Lake in recent years, including banning fishing, land reclamation and waste dumping in the protected zones.