Click here for my wetlands resource.
However, experts have warned that too much attention could also be a problem for the birds.
The Wuhan Evening News reported last week that more than 50 migratory birds, including twowhite swans that are under national second-class protection, were found dead. A third swan was found with part of a metal trap on its leg.
Bags containing toxic pesticides have been found scattered around the wetland.
The reports have aroused much public concern, and a growing number of people have gone to thearea to help protect these endangered animals.
A China Daily reporter on Sunday morning saw an animal protection group, with about 30members, post a banner urging the public to ”protect wild animals” in the wetland, where the birds’bodies were found.
“We are a civil organization and we volunteered to come here,” said a young member, who onlygave his surname as Liu. “We hope to raise public awareness about protecting these wild animals and alert government departments to take responsibility.”
But the report also drew many cars full of curious spectators to the wetland, which shattered its natural silence.
“The place is popular for many wild animals, especially some migratory birds,” said Huang Lide, a 48-year-old local farmer.
According to Huang, many migratory birds use the wetland as a transit hub and make their nests there year after year.
“Some of the visitors took their children to the wetland as well,” Huang said. “It’s more like a family trip out of curiosity.”
Local farmer Zhang Xiaoluo, 58, told the Wuhan Evening News that he had seen more and more people come to observe the white swans, and some of them even set off firecrackers on the banks of the wetland.
“The birds flew away as they were scared by the noise,” said Zhang.
Yang Guoxiang, a senior engineer from Hubei’s wildlife protection center, suggested citizens paythoughtful visits. “More visits don’t bring more help,” he said.
“Rescue activity with constructive ideas is encouraged, but it should not be for fun,” he told ChinaDaily.
Tang Zhaozi, a professor at the college of life sciences at Wuhan University, agreed.
He confirmed that rising human activity had driven some white swans away.
A netizen nicknamed Dichanlaozhang, who is also an amateur photographer, discovered the swans’ tragedy on Feb 3. He quickly reported the incident to the local forestry department andposted a photo of a trapped swan online.
The local forestry department launched an investigation into the birds’ death on Thursday.
Law enforcement officials penalized seven restaurants nearby, as they were caught selling themeat of hunted wild animals, which is forbidden by law.
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World Wetlands Day (WWD) is an annual celebration held on the 2nd February in order to raise worldwide awareness of the importance of wetlands. The date is particularly significant, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, also known as the Ramsar Convention, which is an international treaty that represents the commitment of its members to the preservation of their wetlands.
Link to my factsheet on Wetlands
Wetlands are areas where water is a dominant feature of the habitat, and can include coastal lagoons, areas of marsh and the habitat around lakes and rivers. Wetlands make up roughly 6% of the Earth’s land surface, and are home to an incredibly diverse array of plants and animals. Here at ARKive, we thought we’d celebrate WWD by highlighting a few of the spectacular species that rely upon wetlands for their survival.
Many species of bird, such as these northern pintails, rely on wetlands for breeding and feeding, and will often migrate many miles to reach them.
As well as housing spectacular biodiversity, wetlands are also among the world’s most productive environments, and are important to the survival of many people. They provide water and food such as rice, which is a common wetland plant. The increasing global population is putting immense pressure on the world’s wetlands, and the Ramsar Convention aims to conserve these important habitats through a sustainable ‘wise use’ initiative.
- February 2 Is World Wetlands Day (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
- Wonderful Wetlands Illustration Workshop: Celebrating World Wetlands Day 2012 (socialactions.net)
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- Get Wet n’ Wild on 2nd February! (greenreview.blogspot.com)
- Wetlands: part of our quest to sustainability (wordfromthesavanna.wordpress.com)
- Md. Group Celebrates 40 Years Of Restoring Wetlands (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Moncton wetlands destroyed (cbc.ca)
- You: Restored wetlands no match for real thing (latimes.com)