Across China: Swamps, surveys and endangered species: the barefoot bird-watchers of Hainan – Xinhua

Birders observe migratory waterbirds in Wenchang, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

HAIKOU, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — After driving almost 800 km over three days, 35-year-old Cheng Cheng, who had tirelessly trenched within the swamp for hours, lastly discovered an ideal spot to watch an endangered waterbird.

Cheng just isn’t solely a passionate lover of nature however an professional on wetlands and waterbirds, in addition to the founding father of the Hainan Hen-Watching Society, a bird-watching group in south China’s Hainan Province since 2015.

In simply two hours, Cheng’s workforce had noticed and recorded over 1,800 birds of various sorts throughout this 12 months’s annual bird-watching survey from Jan. 15 to 17 throughout the island province wealthy in aquatic habitats.

Tons of of 1000’s of migratory birds spend winter in Hainan yearly as it’s situated alongside their migration route from East Asia to Australia.

The workforce, consisting of over 50 consultants, fans and volunteers, needed to stand barefoot within the swamp below the scorching solar for hours at a time to gather as a lot info as attainable on the completely different species of migratory birds, Cheng stated.

“Nonetheless, it’s worthwhile doing no matter we will to guard the birds throughout their lengthy and dangerous migration,” she added.

Probably the most rewarding expertise of the journey was recognizing seven black-faced spoonbills in Ledong Li Autonomous County, stated Li Fei, an professional of the workforce, who noticed the endangered species by means of his monocular telescope that may enlarge pictures as much as 30 occasions.

His teammates quickly crowded round him, cheering out, and by recognizing the pink label on the chicken’s leg that learn “Y66,” they confirmed the identification of the long-legged wading chicken by means of a fast on-line search: a younger chicken born final summer season within the Republic of Korea.

“This was the primary time that it had been noticed in China,” Li recalled.

He later uploaded the file to an internet site that enables observers akin to Li to share their newest findings on birds to assist full the image of their migration routes and knowledge on their well being situations.

“Birds are delicate to the pure atmosphere and their well-being can replicate the environmental situations,” stated Cheng.

The info of the survey may also present essential references for native governments and analysis institutes to guard the birds and enhance the atmosphere, Cheng added.

As well as, increasingly native persons are becoming a member of within the efforts as their consciousness of environmental safety grows. “A number of years in the past, lower than a dozen would volunteer for our annual survey, however the quantity has risen to dozens lately, together with some from exterior Hainan,” she stated.

Aside from the Hainan Hen-Watching Society, one other six investigation groups additionally participated in an intensive survey that Hainan launches yearly throughout its 50 waterfowl habitats.

“We hope individuals all over the world can unite to watch and defend waterbirds, guaranteeing there will likely be no extra searching by people,” Cheng stated.

Because the survey, Cheng has begun a decent schedule coaching volunteers, conducting analysis, and selling the significance of defending birds to extra individuals.

Cheng believes that defending wildlife mustn’t solely be left to consultants, and he or she hopes well-trained volunteers will grow to be the spine of the survey and safety efforts sometime. Enditem

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