XINING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A new bird species has been seen at Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve, pushing up the total number of bird species near Qinghai Lake, China's largest saltwater lake, to a record high of 223.
Observers at the reserve spotted two medium-sized passerine birds in the wetlands near the lake in Qinghai Province earlier this month, which were later identified as grey-necked buntings.
The grey-necked bunting mainly lives in western Kashgar Prefecture and central Turpan in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. This is the first time it has been seen in Qinghai.
The ecological environment around Qinghai Lake has seen notable improvement in recent years thanks to efforts to protect the local ecosystem and biological diversity. The number of bird species recorded in the reserve rose from 189 in the late 1990s to 223 this year.