Spring is here for migratory birds in China: authorities introduce action plan to protect birds better

Spring sees a large number of migratory birds gathering and flying north as well as a significant increase in crimes such as wild bird hunts and consumption. As the birds’ migration starts in China, it is a crucial time to combat wild-bird-related criminal activities. On March 14, China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration held a teleconference which reported the status quo of bird migration and developed a detailed action plan to enhance the protection of migratory birds and fight bird-related crimes such as poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade.

Chunliang Li, the deputy director of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, demanded that local authorities fight crimes systematically by regulating the source, distribution, and market of wild-bird-related illegal activity.

@Liu Bo

To reinforce the protection of the source of wild birds, local Forestry and Grassland Administration should intensify the patrol for main distribution areas of migratory birds and eliminate illegal hunting tools such as net and poison to prevent migratory-bird mortality from human interference.

Meanwhile, the management of birdwatching activity must be standardized. The public should be educated on healthy ways of birdwatching and bird photography. Any birdwatching activity in nature reserves without permission should be forbidden. In the core zone and buffer zone of nature reserves, no birdwatching or drone photography is allowed except for specific scientific research purposes. Chasing and catching birds to conduct “studio shots” are strictly banned in order not to disturb the normal activities of the birds.

Li encourages exploring applications of technology that improve the efficiency and frequency of patrol and surveillance, especially in areas with dense bird distribution and regions with poor conditions. At the same time, efforts should be made to eliminate blind spots. By doing so, they may provide evidence to help solve cases and punish criminal activities in a swift manner.

@Liu Bo

Li emphasized that every tier of the Administration should collaborate with related departments to strengthen the supervision on circulation and marketing in order to strike the illegal trade of migratory birds. Li also called a thorough cleansing of all artificial breeding sites of wild birds to prevent these spots from becoming processing plants, transfer stations or shelters of illegal wildlife trade.

Lastly, to totally cut off the interest chain of poaching, illegal trade, and smuggling, law enforcement effort must be improved in commercial businesses such as restaurants, bird-and-flower markets, raw material distribution centers, ports, and trade routes with a high rate of smuggling.

As e-commerce, express shipping, and social media have recently become new tools of illegal wildlife trade, Li also required subordinates to enhance surveillance of these platforms and to put relevant laws into practice.

Whooper swans on their migration route @Yi Nuo

All information comes from https://mp.weixin.qq.com/

Translated by Hengyu Du

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

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