Swamps, surveys and endangered species: the barefoot bird-watchers of Hainan

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

An important egret forages at a wetland in Ledong County, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

After driving practically 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 isn’t solely a passionate lover of nature however an professional on wetlands and waterbirds, in addition to the founding father of the Hainan Chicken-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 varieties throughout this yr’s annual bird-watching survey from Jan. 15 to 17 throughout the island province wealthy in aquatic habitats.

A whole bunch of 1000’s of migratory birds spend winter in Hainan yearly as it’s positioned alongside their migration route from East Asia to Australia.

Birders research migratory waterbirds in Wanning, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 16, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

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

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

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

A bit of egret forages at a wetland in Wanning, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

His teammates quickly crowded round him, cheering out, and by recognizing the pink label on the fowl’s leg that learn “Y66,” they confirmed the id of the long-legged wading fowl by a fast on-line search: a younger fowl 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 permits observers corresponding to Li to share their newest findings on birds to assist full the image of their migration routes and data on their well being circumstances.

“Birds are delicate to the pure setting and their well-being can mirror the environmental circumstances,” mentioned Cheng.

Black-winged stilts are seen at a wetland in Ledong County, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

Black-faced spoonbills are seen at a wetland in Dongfang, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 18, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

The information of the survey will even present essential references for native governments and analysis institutes to guard the birds and enhance the setting, 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 outdoors Hainan,” she mentioned.

Aside from the Hainan Chicken-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 world wide can unite to watch and shield waterbirds, making certain there will likely be no extra looking by people,” Cheng mentioned.

Because the survey, Cheng has begun a good 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 change into the spine of the survey and safety efforts sometime. 

Birders research migratory waterbirds at Yingge Sea Salt Discipline in Ledong County, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

A spoon-billed sandpiper is seen at a wetland in Danzhou Metropolis, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

A birder observes migratory waterbirds with a telescope at Yingge Sea Salt Discipline in Ledong County, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

A birder takes pictures of black-faced spoonbills at a wetland in Dongfang, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 18, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

A spoon-billed sandpiper is seen at a wetland in Danzhou Metropolis, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

Whiskered terns are seen at a wetland in Wanning, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 16, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

A birder takes notes on migratory waterbirds knowledge in Wenchang, south China’s Hainan Province, Jan. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)

 

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