Recently, four Chinese mergansers were seen playing in Lishui River in Xikou Town, according to the staff of the Forestry Bureau of Cili County.
Chinese merganser is an ancient species that survived from the end of the glacial epoch of the Tertiary period, which was over ten million years ago. It is a living fossil of birds and as valuable as pandas. Due to the rarity, it is ranked as the wildlife under the first-class protection of the nation, and listed as the international endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Chinese mergansers tend to spend winter individually or in small groups in rivers in Central and East China, and they usually choose clean and high-quality sources water as habitats, so they can be an indicator of the quality of the ecological environment.
In recent years, Cili County has stepped up efforts to improve forestry ecology. After implementing a series of forestry programs and projects such as returning farmland to forests, planting non-commercial forests, and protecting natural forests, the area of forests increases to 3.7 million mu, and the forest coverage rate reaches 66.22%. As the natural ecology is restored, the environment of the habitats of wildlife is improved significantly. Lush mountains and lucid water attract more wild animals to inhabit here. According to the results of monitoring, the type and population of wildlife increase continuously. There are about 60 Chinese mergansers dwelling in Loushui River, Lishui River, Jiangya Reservoir, and Huangshi Reservoir.