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More than recreational, birdwatching promotes bird protection in Jiangsu
updated on:2024-05-15 08:32

May 11 marks World Migratory Bird Day. While birdwatching is a recreational activity for some in Jiangsu Province, birdwatchers have played a vital role in recording bird activities, protecting birds, and raising public awareness of environmental protection.

Jiangsu is home to 482 bird species, including 14 newly spotted in recent years, according to the province’s 2024 inventory of terrestrial vertebrates.

As a key part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, one of the world's great flyways for migratory birds, Jiangsu’s coastal mudflats, rivers, lakes and wetlands serve as crucial stopover and refueling stations for these birds.

Chen Jing, a volunteer with the Jiangsu Birdwatching Society, noted that interest in observing birds has grown, with people quickly booking learning sessions that are limited in number to minimize disturbance to birds. These sessions, free of charge, are guided by experienced birdwatchers and often filled up within minutes.

On 2 March, He Suichu, a fifth-grade student in Suzhou, spotted a black-throated diver in the city for the first time. "I can breathe fresh air, listen to birds chirping around me, and feel relaxed. It’s even better when finding birds I’ve never seen before," said He, who often goes birdwatching with his family on weekends.

In Yancheng City, Zhou Chenxi took up birdwatching after retiring in 2018. He was elected as chairman of the Yancheng Birdwatching Association established in 2022. The association has gathered data from bird surveys, compiled lists of the city’s birds and supported Yancheng's bird research.