A study of the diversity and conservation of the avi-fauna in Tianjing China

Zhang Shuping

The project team carried out fieldwork and conservation awareness work in the wetlands of Tianjing along the west shore of Bohai Bay, China. This area of wetlands is considered an important resting site for migrants, and many endangered species of birds are known to use the area. However, little research has been carried out and awareness of the wetlands importance is very limited among local people, with bird trapping occurring in some locations.

This project aimed to address this problem through comprehensive surveys of the avifauna of the wetlands and an investigation of the effects of human activities. Twenty study sites were studied (more than 1,500km area and 86 species of waterbirds and 83 species of non waterbirds were recorded. Nine state protected species were found and studied, incuding the Common Crane, the Oriental White Stork and the Chinese Crowtit (for the last two it was the first time they had been recorded in Tianjin). This was some of the first comprehensive bird survey work done in this area. Human impact and the influence of human activity were also investigated.

Some of the data collected has been used by Beijing University in compiling Important Bird Areas (IBA) of China. Work with local people also helped raise awareness and reports of the results of the expedition will be given to the local government and used in conservation planning. It was the first Chinese project to win a BP award.

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