Chinese Birds
Chinese Birds 2013, 4(4) 291-305 DOI:   10.5122/cbirds.2013.0029  ISSN: 1674-7674 CN: 11-5870/Q

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karst wetlands
limestone area
southwestern Guangxi
Xiaolian SHU
Zhou LU
Yuanjun MENG
Zhaotian LI
Article by Xiaolian SHU
Article by Zhou LU
Article by Gang YANG
Article by Yuanjun MENG
Article by Zhaotian LI
Article by Fang ZHOU

Survey of the use by birds of various karst wetlands in southwestern Guangxi, southern China

Xiaolian SHU 1, Zhou LU 1, Gang YANG 1, Yuanjun MENG 2, Zhaotian LI 1, Fang ZHOU 1,*

1 College of Animal Sciences and Technology, Guangxi University, Nanning 530005, China 2 The Administration of Nonggang National Nature Reserve, Longzhou 532400, China


The limestone area located in southwestern Guangxi in the south of China is part of a global biodiversity hotspot. As an important habitat of this limestone region, karst wetlands provide birds with necessary water conditions for their survival and reproduction. From 2007 to 2012, bird surveys were conducted in natural wetlands (pools, streams, springs and seasonal flows) in 14 nature reserves and 18 reservoirs in the limestone area of southwestern Guangxi. A total of 365 bird species were recorded in field investigations, including 103 water-dependent birds mainly seen in wetlands. Among these 103 birds, 10 species are globally threatened and 5 species have been placed under national key protection. The birds were selective in their use of the various types of karst wetlands. The number of bird species was the highest in pools and springs, with 304 and 266 respectively, followed by streams with 131 species. Reservoirs are the main wintering habitat for the large Natatores and in the rainy season the importance of seasonal flows is paramount. Seasonal changes in the utilization of karst wetlands by birds were obvious; the number of bird species in the dry season was much higher than during the rainy season. Bird migration and seasonal flows are the main reasons for seasonal variation in the number of water-dependent birds. These natural karst wetlands ensure the drinking water supply for more than 80% of the water-independent birds in the dry season. These karst wetlands are the wintering ground and stopover area for 58 species of migrant birds. At present, threats to the birds in the karst wetlands consist of illegal hunting, habitat changes and eucalyptus plantations. Karst wetlands are important for protecting biodiversity. More attention ought to be directed to these wetlands and protection efforts enhanced.

Keywords karst wetlands   limestone area   birds   southwestern Guangxi   conservation  
Received 2013-03-06 Revised  Online: 2013-09-12 
DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2013.0029
Corresponding Authors: Fang Zhou
About author:

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