Rare bird spotted in China

KUNMING (Xinhua) – A slender-billed vulture, a critically endangered species, was for the first time sighted in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the local Public Security Bureau said yesterday.

The rare bird was spotted in early July by a villager near a reservoir in Jinggu Township, Pu’er City. Finding that the bird had no visible injury but looked weak, police at the site took it away for treatment.

Bird experts at the Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed that it is a slender-billed vulture, a critically endangered species with a global population of about 1,000 to 2,499.

The vultures are mainly found in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India.

The only place in China it had previously been seen was in southeastern Tibet.

Experts believe its discovery is of great significance for better understanding of its habitat and distribution.

The bird is in good condition and will be released with a satellite tracker for further protection and scientific research when it fully recovers.