Rare bird finds sanctuary

Updated: 2013-11-14 00:31

By Chen Liang (China Daily)

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Rare bird finds sanctuary

Two spoon-billed sandpipers found on the mudflat in Rudong. Provided to China Daily

Workshop participants were encouraged by the commitment of local and provincial government to stop illegal hunting along the coast and to designate a protected area for the spoon-billed sandpiper.

Local and national NGOs assisted in the workshop. WWF Hong Kong and the Paulson Institute in particular announced their interest and assistance in collaborating with the local government and SBS in China to conserve the crucial tidal flats.

"This is a historic moment in the conservation of the species," says Christoph Zockler, a German conservationist.

"For the first time since our efforts to conserve the species began in 2000, we can realistically hope that with the continuing commitment of the local and provincial government and leadership from national authorities and NGOs in China that we can indeed turn the tide — and save the species from extinction."

As part of this work, professor Chang Qing with Nanjing Normal University, an advisor of the Forest Department of Jiangsu Province on environmental issues, says that participants of the workshop 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.

"We hope that these vital sites in Rudong can be protected for the future," says Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, an official from the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources and chair of the SBS Task Force.

"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."

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