Good Chinese bird news

This video is called Nordmann’s Greenshank (Yubu Island. October 9, 2013).

From Wildlife Extra:

New hope for two of the most threatened birds in the world

Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank found in record numbers in China

October 2013. An international survey team found a sensational record total of 140 Spoon-billed Sandpiper and 1,200 Nordmann’s Greenshank, two of the rarest and most threatened birds of the world in Rudong Jinagsu Province on the Chinese coastline.

Entire world population

“We believe the entire world population of the adult population of both Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmannn’s Greenshank are staging at the highly productive intertidal flats on the coast of Rudong” stated Dr Nigel Clark from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in the UK, highlighting its vital importance for the survival of both species.

Special wetland reserve created

Representatives of the local and provincial government announced the creation of a special wetland reserve for Spoon-billed Sandpipers during a workshop following the survey. “This is a historic moment in the conservation of the species. For the first time since our efforts to conserve the species began in 2000, we can realistically hope to save the species from extinction” concluded Dr Christoph Zöckler, coordinator of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (SBS) Task Force, who organized the survey and workshop with Jing Li and Tong Menxiu from SBS in China.

Intertidal wetlands of outstanding international conservation importance

The survey, conducted by the conservation network SBS in China on October 15th-19th supported by an international team of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (SBS) Task Force confirmed the outstanding international conservation importance of intertidal wetlands along the 120km of coastline between Dongtai and Rudong, Jiangsu Province.

Threatened by continuing reclamation for agricultural and industrial development

Many of the most important intertidal wetlands along the Jiangsu coast are threatened by continuing reclamation for agricultural and industrial development. However, local and provincial authorities now recognise the international importance of the area as shown by their announcement of the creation of a new protected area for spoon-billed sandpiper. This, together with two shellfish reserves which overlap with most of the wader feeding areas give the first protection to this vital link in the chain of wetlands that these two species depend on to get from their breeding areas in the arctic to the wintering sites in tropical SE Asia. It is hoped that these fledgling reserves will eventually achieve protection at provincial and national level.

“Our surveys confirm the intertidal wetlands of Rudong as the most important remaining stopover site for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper during its entire 8000km long migration route. Protecting these internationally important intertidal wetlands is vital for the sandpiper’s survival, and also for the maintenance of the shellfishery and other vital services provided by tidal-flats.” stated Jing Li (Coordinator of SBS in China).

As part of this work, Prof. Chang Qing, of Nanjing Normal University, who advises the Forest Department of the Jiangsu Province on environmental issues stated: “We now hope to create a working group of local government and NGOs that involves all stakeholders in the future planning of wetland reserves and their management.”

“I am very pleased to see so many Spoon-billed Sandpiper here in Rudong” concluded Dr Evgeny Syroechkovskiy of the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources, SBS Task Force Chair. He added: “I will encourage my ministry to include both, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank, which breed exclusively in Russia, into the recently signed bilateral agreement on migratory bird conservation between China and Russia.”

November 2013: The People’s Republic of China has designated five more Wetlands of International Importance, bringing its total to 46 Ramsar sites covering over 4 million hectares. Dongfanghong Wetland, located on the transition zone between the Wanda Mountains and the Ussuri River along the border with the Russian Federation, supports rare and globally threatened wildlife such as the critically threatened Baer’s Pochard duck and the endangered Oriental stork and tiger: here.

Waterbirds increase more rapidly in Ramsar wetlands than in unprotected wetlands: here.

10 thoughts on “Good Chinese bird news

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