KUNMING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- An increasing number of seagulls are wintering in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, local forestry bureau said.
On Saturday, the Kunming Municipal Forestry Bureau and society for the protection of birds dispatched more than 200 workers to count the gulls. with over 40,500 seagulls seen, the bureau said.
In 2015, the number of seagulls which arrived at Kunming for the winter exceeded 40,000 for the first time, setting a 31-year record.
"The rising number of migrating birds shows the micro climate and environment at Dianchi Lake is improving," said Yang Ming, deputy secretary general of the society.
Public awareness has also been increasing to protect the birds and provide them with food, he said.
The gulls mainly migrate from Lake Baikal in Russia, Uvs Nuur Basin in Mongolia, and Bosten Lake in far west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, he said.
Local forestry workers have carried out health checks on bird samples and found no danger, he added.
Kunming is known as the City of Spring for its mild climate. Close to 10,000 seagulls flew in the city in 1985 and have been coming every November since. The birds usually stay until late February.