Breeding ecology of Baer’s pochard in central and north China

Qingxin Li

Baer's Pochard (Aythya baeri) is classified as a Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red List as it is apparently undergoing an extremely rapid population decline. The total population is now likely to be fewer than 1,000 individuals.

Habitat loss and hunting in their breeding site are two of the possible causes of their rapid decline. We aim to improve our understanding of their breeding ecology, especially the population ecology of Baer’s pochard in north and central China throughout breeding sites, by conducting population surveys, habitat identification, and habitat sampling.

We will conduct community work to raise the environmental awareness of local community and enterprises who work around these areas with home-visiting and environmental education. We will also produce a project report, publish results in one (or more) peer-reviewed journal and have data available for predicting development impacts on these species by the end of the project.

Such information will allow researchers and managers to distribute their management efforts more effectively when conserving and monitoring these threatened species. Our findings will have implications that go beyond our study area because the basic ecology of these species remains poorly known and they rely on similar freshwater wetland habitat throughout their breeding season.