Blog

Extremely rare albino panda found in Sichuan, China

A super rare albino panda was spotted in the Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve. This panda’s white hair, white claws, and red eyes had us wondering, did it forget to wear its natural black vest and smoky eye makeup? Or did it have such an excellent night’s sleep that it lost the signature dark circles around the eyes?

A wild infrared trigger camera captured the albino panda passing through the lush forest at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. The picture clearly shows the unique morphological characteristics of this giant panda.

Based on these external features on the photo, experts concluded that the panda is an albino individual. Judging from the size, this is a sub-adult or young panda, about 1 to 2 years old.

According to Li Sheng, member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Bear Specialist Group and researcher at the Peking University School of Life Sciences, the phenomenon of “albinism” is found in various groups of vertebrate animals, but they are rare and usually due to genetic mutations. The bodies of albino individuals do not synthesize melanin, a dark pigment, so they appear white, yellowish white or pale yellow.

Missing pigments means that the animal is more likely to be found in the environment, and their body is more sensitive to direct sunlight. However, a single “albinism” mutation usually has no significant effect on the animal’s physical structure, activity, or reproduction.

The panda photographed by Wolong showed that there was an “albinism” gene in the giant panda population in Wolong. From the photo, experts confirmed that the individual is physically healthy with a steady gait, evidence that the mutation may not have affected the daily life of this panda.

The “albinism” mutation is a recessive gene that can be inherited. Each animal has two sets of genes from both parents. Only when the gene from both the parent and the mother are mutated, the individual will develop into an albino. Based on the current data, it is not yet possible to judge the gender of this individual.

When the albino panda and healthy wild individuals (the ordinary “black and white” pandas) that do not carry the mutated gene successfully produce offspring, the first generation of panda babies will still appear black and white, but they will carry an “albinism” gene.

A normal black and white panda might be carrying the recessive albinism gene.

When two individuals carrying the mutated gene reproduce, it is possible that both of the inherited genes may be mutated to produce an albino individual.

Whether the albino mutant gene will be further transmitted around the giant panda population of Wolong will also need to be observed through continuous field monitoring in the protected area.

To understand the composition and habitat utilization of the diverse species in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, the Administration launched the monitoring and research work in 2018. In the various ecosystems of the protected area, scientists selected seven sample plots of 20 square kilometers, respectively. An infrared trigger camera was set up to monitor the distribution and dynamic changes of wild animals in each area.

This photo of the albino giant panda comes from one of the monitoring areas.

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

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Protect endangered species at all costs: Nanjing modifies bridge design to make way for finless porpoises

Nanjing has specially revised the design of a bridge to give way to the finless porpoises in the Yangtze River. The Yangtze finless porpoise is listed as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Also known as the “river pig”, the Yangtze finless porpoises are small mammals that may live up to 20 years.

In the upper reaches of the Nanjing section of the Yangtze River, a bridge has been planned to connect two districts of the city across the river.

At first, the bridge was designed to be a three-tower suspension bridge. The program aimed to minimize the impact on the finless porpoise, so only one tower was set up in the river. However, this design was eventually denied.

“To minimize the impact on the finless porpoise, we have adjusted the plan again with the design unit,” said Wei Chen, an engineer at the Nanjing Public Construction Center.

According to the adjusted design, the three-tower suspension bridge was changed to have two towers which would be placed on two islands in the river respectively. In other words, there would be no bridge tower in the middle of the river, which may affect the activity and habitat of the finless porpoise.

At the same time, the bridge line was moved from the edge of the core area of ​​the Nanjing Yangtze Finless Porpoise Provincial Nature Reserve to the buffer zone outside.

Above: the three-tower design
Below: the modified two-tower design

After the revision, as the three towers become double towers, the span increases, and thus the corresponding investment amount and technical requirements would also increase.

The Nanjing Ministry of Ecosystem and Environment commented that scientific planning would yield the highest benefit. Indeed, it is difficult and costly for the modified bridge design plan to make way for the finless porpoise. Nevertheless, if any planning mistakes hinder the recovery of the finless porpoise population, a higher cost may be necessary to remedy the problems. At present, there are only more than a thousand finless porpoises in the Yangtze River, and their “critically endangered” status has not changed.

In the opinion of the Yangtze River Protection Volunteer and the president of the Yangzhou City Yangtze River Protection Association, Chen Yilin, giving finless porpoises precedence over the bridge is not only a sign of prioritizing ecological conservation over commercial development but also the only way for people to live in harmony with nature. “The Yangtze River has always been the common home of human and finless porpoise,” said Chen.

The Yangtze finless porpoise first became classified as an independent species in 2018.

Since 2014, Nanjing has demolished and relocated all the production piers of between the city’s second and third bridges across the Yangtze River. The city also released more than 300 million fish hatchlings to increase the food source of the finless porpoise. Meanwhile, fishing in the river section below the Nanjing Third Yangtze Bridge in the protected area was banned entirely.

At present, it is the breeding season of the finless porpoise. Since March, many citizens have observed pairs of finless porpoises in the waters of the Nanjing section of Yangtze River.

Photos and information come from 

http://www.sohu.com/

https://www.cenews.com.cn/

http://news.sciencenet.cn/

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Hong Kong consults the public on proposals to enhance animal welfare legislation, offenders potentially face ten years’ imprisonment

Animal welfare involves the quality of life of an animal and may include aspects such as the animals’ physical health, psychological states, and the ability to express natural behaviors. The topic of animal welfare has become increasingly popular around the globe in recent years.

On April 26th, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of Hong Kong announced that they would be consulting the public about several proposals to enhance animal welfare in Hong Kong until July 31th, 2019.

Screenshot of the proposal website heading

The current animal law in Hong Kong is called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169), introduced in 2006. Although the current legislation bans and penalizes cruel acts towards animals, it does not promote or define good animal welfare. Drawing from animal welfare laws from various foreign places such as Macau, Singapore, California, and New Zealand, the AFCD’s strategy to amending this law is threefold.

Firstly, the amendment would introduce a positive “Duty of Care” on persons responsible for animals to enforce the fulfillment of the animals’ welfare needs so that animals could be protected before they are suffering. Should the bill be passed, public officers would be able to issue an “improvement notice” to people not fulfilling the duty of care and set an appropriate penalty.

Secondly, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offenses would be increased based on public opinion. In the feedback form at the end of the public consultation document, the public could choose from different lengths of imprisonment ranging from four to ten years. The court would also be able to disqualify someone from keeping animals should they be convicted of an animal cruelty offense. The current version of Cap. 169 has a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of $200,000 Hong Kong Dollars (approx. $25,000 USD).

Thirdly, public officers would be enabled to enter premises and seize animals with the purpose to prevent animal suffering. As some cases may take months to complete, the seized animals would also be released and rehomed under certain circumstances (e.g., the owner surrendered the animal and the court no longer required it for evidence purposes).

The site of a recent suspected animal cruelty case

The director of AFCD, Dr. Leung Siu-Fai, stated in a public event that the AFCD had been actively working with Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and the Hong Kong Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA HK) to enforce Cap. 169, and that was the reason why the amendment did not include the establishment of animal police officers. After the amendment bill passes, the AFCD would work on mobilizing personnel to enhance the enforcement of the law.

Dr. Leung Siu-fai

Member of the Legislative Council and an animal advocate, Roy Kwong Chun-yu, stated that he would be initiating large-scale public demonstrations to invite more members of the public to submit their opinions to the AFCD. Kwong also pointed out that though the HKPF set up animal task forces in 22 police districts, there were only a total of 30 enforcers of Cap. 169.

Member of the Legislative Council and an animal advocate, Roy Kwong Chun-yu

If the general public wishes to give comments on the matter, they can download the consultation document from the proposal website below and submit their feedback through email, fax or mail.

Update: On May 19th, Roy Kwong Chun-yu, local celebrities, and animal advocate groups rallied over 6,000 people in a march through the streets of Hong Kong towards the government headquaters. They were wearing red ribbons that represent the blood of the animals that were abused or killed.

All Information comes from:

https://www.pets.gov.hk/

https://bit.ly/2VlHsiz

https://bit.ly/2LV99Lr

https://bit.ly/2Qms0hf

Translated by Dule and Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Showcasing wildlife of China: photography exhibition opens in St. Petersburg

On April 16, the exhibition center of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg hosted a Chinese wildlife photo exhibit named “Nature Image China”, a second show after the first exhibit in Moscow. This exhibit aroused the Russian public’s interest in Chinese wild animals, as well as China’s recent achievements in wildlife conservation.

Mrs. Tamara, the Russian director of the exhibition, said at the opening ceremony, “Nowadays, the only way to address the issue of wildlife protection is to cooperate with the neighbor country. This is why we think it is vital to showcase the activities of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the best works of Chinese photographers. Though this exhibit, visitors can get to know China—a lush and natural land full of wonder, they can know the life of the nation’s rarest wild animals, and learn about the scientific research and conservation work on the wild animals in China.”

Many Russian media reported the opening ceremony. The CWCA’s mission is to protect rare animals such as panda, golden monkey, South China tiger, Amur tiger, Crested Ibis and Baiji, most of which are close to extinction.

The above are some highlights from the show.
From: https://rosphoto.org/

The CWCA regularly invites famous photographers both from China and aboard to take photos of the ecosystem and organisms in China. The images will be displayed with the title of “Nature Image China” and added to the CWCA’s other project, the China Natural Image Library.

Organized by the committee of the “Primitive Russia” Festival and the CWCA, this exhibition shows the works of 49 photographers from China and other countries. The exhibit is on view from April 16 to May 28.

All information comes from  http://www.cwca.org.cn/

Translated by Henyu Du

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

The first “Local Animal Park” in China opened its doors on Earth Day

On the 50th Earth Day, the Shanghai Zoo opened a “Local Animal Park”. The animal inhabitants of the park include endangered and protected species such as otters, Chinese water deers, leopard cats, South China tigers, and Oriental storks. At the same time, local representative species such as hog badger, European badger, raccoon dogs, and mallards also live in the park.

The gate of the Local Animal Park

An Area of More Than 320,000 Square Feet Produces a “Home” Environment

The Shanghai Zoo Local Animal Park began construction in August 2017. After the completion, the total area of the park is more than 320,000 square feet.

In the past, tourists always paid more attention to star animals such as pandas, lions, golden monkeys and so on. However, they don’t know much about the animals that live around the city. Shanghai is a city built on wetlands with abundant natural resources that support nearly 90% of the wildlife species in the Yangtze River Delta Area. “We define ‘local animals’ as wildlife that live in or near Shanghai, or animals that have historically been distributed but are now disappearing,” said a zoo official.

Inhabitant of the Local Animal Park: Chinese water deer
Inhabitant of the Local Animal Park: Reeves’s muntjac

The Local Animal Park of Shanghai Zoo is the first exhibition in China with the title of “local animals”. It features the natural environment of Shanghai wetland and hilly forests. The park strives to simulate nature so that the animals can express natural behaviors.

The entire bird area is composed of wetland landscapes such as lakes, shoals, streams, and small islands. Such an environment not only helps show the natural behavior of birds but also attracts many local wild birds to enrich the ecosystem. In the area for the Chinese water deer and Reeves’s muntjac, the slopes, lawns, and bushes are large enough to meet the deers’ needs to hide and run. The small animal exhibition areas for raccoon dogs, European badgers, and hog badgers present their preferred living environment with shrubs and ponds, supplemented by various tree holes and caves.

Inhabitant of the Local Animal Park: Red-crowned crane

“Artificial” Food Chain Enhances Animal Welfare

There are many aquatic plants, small fish, snails, and tadpoles in the wetland environment of the bird area. The zoo also built an “insect hotel” on the island with eco-friendly materials. The staff placed straw, dry branches, dead bark, and other materials in discarded wooden boxes to attract different insects. These insects and some aquatic plants also become food for the cranes. Meanwhile, the zookeeper will also occasionally put some mealworms and crickets on the island to let the cranes catch by themselves.

Inhabitant of the Local Animal Park: Masked palm civet

Attentive visitors will find tree branches of various shapes and sizes in the exhibition area. “They restore the living environment of animals in the wild and provide the animals with entertainment.” the staff revealed.

As people’s attention to the environment and the protection of ecosystems increases, a growing number of people recognize the importance of protecting the habitats of humans and animals. The Shanghai Zoo said that the zoo has been striving to change from a traditional zoo to a modern zoo for a long time. The missions of the zoo are to conduct wildlife science research, comprehensive environmental protection, popular science education, and advocation of ecological protection. The establishment of Local Animal Park is a major practice.

Inhabitant of the Local Animal Park: Eurasian otter

All information comes from  http://sh.eastday.com/

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Chinese organization launches an emergency rescue mission for seized pangolins

The year 2019 is the “Year of Justifications for Pangolins” for the Pangolin Protection Working Group of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). Recently, after years of hard work, the Pangolin Group was entrusted by the relevant authorities to rescue and treat some of the pangolins that had been seized by the customs.

The pangolin is currently the most illegally trafficked mammal in the world. To protect the pangolins, the Pangolin Group has been putting considerable effort into pangolin conservation for years.

The pangolin is a small ant-eating mammal found in Asia. Its skin is covered completely with keratin scales, which are in huge demand in China.

The Pangolin Group aims to tackle illegal pangolin trafficking from multiple angles such as the frontline investigations of pangolin trafficking, requests for customs information disclosure, investigations of the medicinal use of pangolin products, illegal pangolin trade rescue operations, popularization of the science of pangolins, and speaking up about the issue on international platforms.

Due to some ancient misconceptions, China still has a substantial demand for pangolin products for both edible and medicinal purposes. In the early 1990s, pangolins native to China were hunted so much that the local pangolin population could no longer support the commercial demand. Since then, enormous numbers of pangolins and their products from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and even Africa have entered the Chinese market. According to a recent customs operation on March 29th this year, 103 live pangolins, 52 dead bodies, and 21.55 kilograms of scales were seized. The live pangolins would be in a worrying situation if they did not receive the care they needed on time.

The seized pangolin products.

For the emergency pangolin rescue operations, the Pangolin Group has sent staff to two regions, Guangxi and Yunnan, to select appropriate locations and establish rescue camps. At the same time, the staff has been actively communicating with both domestic and foreign experts to prepare for the rescue. Meanwhile, the Pangolin Group has also recruited on-site rescue volunteers and gathered information from the internet for potential locations for the camps. According to the leader of the Pangolin Group, appropriate camp locations must have necessary facilities, relatively convenient transportation, and forests with high numbers of termites nearby.

The rehabilitation of rescued pangolins is a difficult task which requires expert advice.

As of April 11, the Pangolin Group had found a suitable rescue camp location somewhere around Nanning City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The camp encloses a large forest and is only 3 kilometers away from an airport. Currently, the camp has been named the Nn041119PRC base. From now on, the Pangolin Group will be working vigorously to establish the second and the third rescue camp.

All photos and information come from mp.weixin.qq.com/

Translated by Dule

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Love brings them off the streets: 51 cities in China held a pet adoption event on the same day

On April 13th, 51 cities in China held a nationwide pet adoption event at the same time. The activity aims to promote the ideas of caring for stray animals, “adopt, don’t shop,” and responsible pet ownership. Experts commented that the increasing number of people who pay attention to animal’s welfare suggests the advancement of Chinese society.

From Harbin in the northeast to Kunming in the southwest, from Urumqi in the northwest to Xiamen in the southeast, 51 Chinese cities, with a total population of more than 400 million, held the “China Same Day Pet Adoption” activity to help rescued stray animals find new homes.

Dogs waiting to be adopted in Beijing

According to Yang Yang, the event initiator and the director of an adoption platform named “Beijing Pet Adoption Day”, the annual “China Same Day Pet Adoption ” event has been going on for five years in a row. When it first started in 2015, there were only 18 participating cities, but gradually more cities joined in, and the number of cities reached 51 this year.

“Considering the territory size and population density of China, some international experts think this is the largest stray animal adoption activity in the world. Therefore, we applied for the Guinness World Records,” said Yang.

Puppy and an event volunteer in Beijing

In Shanghai, Sun Li, an actress and the ambassador of the “China Same Day Pet Adoption ” activity, is an enthusiast for saving stray animals and promoting responsible pet ownership. The image of Sun Li hugging a rescued animal had become the activity’s theme picture.

“I think it’s really meaningful if more people were willing to help stray animals when they saw the image of me cuddling a puppy,” said Sun Li.

Sun Li in a promotional poster for the Fifth China Same Day Adoption event

“International experience indicates that promoting adoption can effectively decrease the number of stray animals and enhance the sense of responsibility of pet owners as well as the society,” said Dr. Sun Quanhui, the scientific counselor of World Animal Protection.

“In recent years, the number of stray animal adoption activities in various regions is growing, and a rising number of people gradually accepts the idea of pet adoption,” said Dr. Sun. “Taking good care of animals is a human responsibility, and it’s also an important sign of a civilized society.”

A few days ago, social organizations ACTAsia and Vets For Compassion (VFC China) celebrated for the 10th anniversary of their international veterinary training program in China. According to the founder of ACTAsia, Su Peifen, in the past ten years, Chinese society has made constant advancement in terms of animal welfare, and examples include compassion education in primary schools to animal welfare training for veterinary professionals.

To commemorate World Stray Animals Day on April 4th, the mobile online game, “Onmyoji”, introduced a new gaming system in which the players can adopt injured stray dogs and sign a “contact of guardianship”. The game company would donate a part of their profit to support stray animal rescue and management. In just about 6 hours, the system had reached its expected goal.

“Contract of Guardianship” event banner in the mobile online game Onmyoji

Besides, thanks to social media and live video platforms, more and more stray animals found lovely homes. At a Beijing volunteer-run cat shelter called “The Tenth Life”, some professional photographers are volunteering to take photos of fixed cats with a tame temperament and publish on social media. Any eligible family who wants to adopt the cats may contact the manager through social media.

Michael Hammer, the Global Development Director of World Animal Protection, commented that the booming development of social media and these fantastic, original ways of caring about animals brought out the best in each other, which was very commendable. The Chinese younger generation’s concern for animal welfare and their actions to improve the well-being of animals are worth being promoted worldwide.

“Before Adoption” vs “After Adoption” of the stray animal in Onmyoji

All information comes from  https://xw.qq.com/

Photos from https://xw.qq.com/ https://yys.163.com/ Weibo @turbosun

Translated by Hengyu Du

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Tibet’s biodiversity continues to recover: more than 200,000 Tibetan antelopes in the region

On March 27th, the Chinese State Council Information Office published a white paper document titled “Democratic Reform in Tibet — Sixty Years On”, which reported that Tibet’s biodiversity has been recovering continuously. In the Tibet region, the forest coverage rate has reached 12.14%, the Tibetan antelope population has increased from 60,000 in the 1990s to 200,000 at present, and the Tibetan wild donkey population has grown from 50,000 to more than 80,000.

According to the white paper, since the establishment of the first Qomolangma Nature Reserve in 1988 (Qomolangma is Tibetan for “Mount Everest”), Tibet has established 47 various nature reserves. The total reserve area has reached 412,200 square kilometers, accounting for more than 34.35% of the total land area of China. Meanwhile, there are also 22 eco-protection areas, 36 counties receiving government transfer payments for their essential ecological roles, four national scenic areas, nine national forest parks, 22 national wetland parks, and three national geoparks.

The Chinese government continues to increase the eco-compensation for Tibet’s expenses for preserving the eco-environment and the consequent losses of development opportunities. Since 2001, the amount of compensation for various ecological benefits such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and key ecological reserves has reached 31.6 billion yuan (approximately 4.7 billion USD).

Tibetan antelopes @Xinhuanet

The white paper claims that at present, the forest coverage rate in Tibet is 12.14%, with an area of 16.02 million hectares (including forest land, shrubbery land, and other forest lands) and a forest stock volume of 2.28 billion cubic meters. The comprehensive vegetation coverage of natural grassland is currently 45.9 percent, the area of natural grassland is 88.93 million ha, and the area of wetland is 6.53 million ha.

The Tibet autonomous region is home to 141 wild animal species protected at the national or regional level and 38 wild plant species protected at the national level. The region also supports plenty of endemic species found nowhere else in the world. There are 196 unique animal species, 855 unique plant species, and 22 unique bird species. Tibet’s ecosystem has been excellently preserved, the white paper said. Specifically, the number of black-necked cranes has grown from 3,000 to 8,000, and wild yaks from 7,000 to 10,000.

Currently, all the major rivers and lakes in Tibet remain in their natural state, and 95.7% of key waters have reached the national water standards. In terms of air quality, 97.5% of days are rated as “excellent” or “good”, and ratings of air quality in the Qomolangma region are being maintained at either “excellent” or “good”.

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

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

Consumers can adopt cows and check on their cows on this Chinese app

On March 5, 2019, Shao Yi, founder and CEO of Beijing Mu Niu Xian Sheng Animal Husbandry Technology Co., Ltd., Chang Ruishan, co-founder and executive vice president, and  Cao Yuan, dean of Xian Sheng E-commerce Business School, visited the Animal Welfare International Cooperation Committee (ICCAW) office in China, and were warmly welcomed by the president A Yongxi and team members.

From the left: Cao Yuan, A Yongxi, Shao Yi, Chang Ruishan. @ICCAW

Shao Yi, the founder and CEO, introduced their company: Mu Niu Xian Sheng, meaning Cowherd Fresh, is a platform business that integrates the internet and intelligent information sharing into the beef cattle industry. Through the e-commerce app platform, consumers can pay to “adopt” cattle on the pasture. At the same time, consumers have access to the information collected by the sensors on the cattle, through which they can read their cows’ health status and amount of exercise. In this way, consumers are closely connected to the pasture, and adopters become the owners of the cattle.

The adoption page for cattle on the Mu Niu Xian Sheng App.
Translation: Cattle rearing period in months; predicted profit in %; price of each cow in ¥RMB (roughly $1,900 or $2,300 in USD)

Through the tracking system of the platform, consumers can clearly understand the production process of cattle beef, from breeding, slaughtering, to food processing, which enhances their confidence in food safety. Consumers can buy safe and high-quality beef products through the online store of Mu Niu Xian Sheng, which not only helps to promote the ranches but also breaks the conventional ways of purchasing beef products such as going to supermarkets or brand-specific stores.

The online store of the Mu Niu Xian Sheng app

The president of ICCAW says that the combination of e-commerce and beef cattle industry can solve the traditional disadvantages such as high input cost, long payback period, and difficulty in sales. Due to various uncertainties in beef cattle husbandry, many small and medium-sized ranches lack the ability to take risks, which results in unguaranteed income. Meanwhile, Mu Niu Xian Sheng has also started strategic cooperation with the insurance company, Ping An China, and insured every cow on the platform, greatly improving the cattle ranchers’ resilience to risks.

The Animal Welfare International Cooperation Committee (ICCAW)

In the end, the president of ICCAW approved of the model of combining the internet and beef cattle industry, and he is willing to help more beef cattle enterprises through applying the successful examples set by Mu Niu Xian Sheng.

All information comes from  https://kknews.cc/

Translated by Dule

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

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