Researchers discover a purple swamphen in Hainan province for the first time during a survey on waterfowls in wetlands from January 10 to 13.
Hainan provincial center on wild animals and plants protection sent groups to carry out the 2008 winter survey on waterfowls in wetlands from January 10 to 13.
Researchers in China's southernmost island province Hainan have discovered a rare waterhen, a purple swamphen in Yangpu, the website hinews.cn reported on Tuesday.
A survey group discovered the purple swamphen in a restaurant when a peasant brought it to the restaurant for sale. The unique bird is healthy with beautiful feather, about half kilograms.
The purple swamphen is mainly dusky black above, with a broad dark blue collar, and dark blue to purple below.
Purple Swamphens are large waterhens that live among dense reeds in freshwater lakes, swamps and streams, with main distributions in Africa, southern Asia and Australia.
The waterhen is rarely seen in China, possibly living in southwestern provinces and regions, such as Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian.
Because of few discoveries of the purple swamphen, China did not place the waterhen on its animal protection list, when they first made such lists in 1988.
China only records 15 purple swamphens across the country up to 2006. People have occasionally sighted the bird in Guangdong and Hong Kong.
(CRI January 15, 2008)