A total of 197 oriental white stork fledglings have been bred this year at the Honghe national nature reserve in northeast China"s Heilongjiang Province, the reserve said on Monday.
The number represents the largest annual breeding population of the species since the reserve was established in 1984, the reserve said after it carried out an investigation of the species" breeding situation in June.
The oriental white stork, a migratory bird species under first-class national protection, has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
With a total area of 21,836 hectares, the reserve is known as China"s home for oriental white storks.
The reserve has built 389 artificial iron and wooden bird nests since 1993 to restore the population of the endangered storks.
Over the past 29 years, a total of 1,921 oriental white storks have been bred in these nests.
"This year, the reserve added 100 artificial iron bird nests, which are believed to be more secure and resistant to decay than the wooden ones," said Zhu Baoguang from the reserve"s administration department, adding that the current number of artificial nests stands at 203.
The reserve now has 2,166 oriental white storks, accounting for nearly a quarter of the species" total global population.