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This is the fifth annual collation and publication of bird records from mainland China, following the inaugural China Bird Report 2003. Coverage of China, especially by birdwatching societies based in eastern coastal provinces and in larger cities in the west of the country, has grown significantly over the past five years accompanied by a massive increase in the number of bird records submitted and an overall improvement in the quality of records. Birdwatchers, both local and overseas, have made increasingly valuable contributions to knowledge of the Chinese avifauna and biodiversity conservation in China by counting ecologically-important congregations of waterbirds, monitoring threatened birds of international concern, finding new species at national or provincial levels and rediscovering species that were long-lost or feared extinct.
Such a rich source of bird data has enabled all China Bird Reports since 2005 to publish records of over 1,000 species, representing about 80% of the China list. During this period the editorial team of the China Bird Report has itself also undergone some major developments. The initial small group of editors who compiled the 2003 report has now grown into a coordinated team of over 30 members, including professional ornithologists and experienced birdwatchers from the mainland, Hong Kong and abroad, whose reviewing of records based on their unparalleled understanding of the Chinese avifauna ensures the quality of the report.
China Bird Report 2007 is the outcome of nearly a year' s collective effort of all editors. For the third consecutive year, geographical coverage encompasses all provincial-level administrative districts in China, with the exception of Hong Kong and Taiwan. A total of 1071 species from 16 orders and 68 families are included in this report, representing over 80% of all bird species in China as listed in Zheng (2005). These records include one species which is newly described by science, three species which are additions to the national checklist, and a suite of species which are additions at provincial-level. In terms of globally-threatened species on the IUCN red-list, the current report includes four Critically-endangered species, 10 "Endangered species", and 42 "Vulnerable" species (BirdLife International 2008), whilst also highlighting species under Protection Class I (Zheng and Wang 1998). As in previous years, the report introduces and discusses a number of relevant taxonomic changes proposed in the recent ornithological research literature. Finally, this year's report includes a report on sightings of colour-banded waterbirds in mainland China during 2007, which provides important information on the migration and conservation of these birds.