Ninety Percent of Caofeidian Wetland Was Outsourced and Turned into Fishponds | investigation of Oriental Storks Starving
2019/11/27 14:14:00 本站

The following is the third-day investigation report on the Oriental storks’ starvation by the staff and volunteers of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF).


At 8:00 am, the team rushed form Tianjin Binhai New Area along the highway to Caofeidian Wetland in Tangshan, Hebei Province. The Caofeidian Wetland is more than 100 kilometers away from Tianjin Binhai New Area and is a stop on the route of the Oriental storks moving south. The Daqinghe Salt Field is located near the Caofeidian Wetland, there were not many Oriental storks in previous years, but this year it is abnormal that they have moved away from the traditional migration path and flew to the salt field to find food. What caused this unusual behavior is the main purpose of the team’s investigation in Caofeidian Wetland this time.


To the right of the highway is a vast expanse of gray Bohai Bay. In the morning at low tide, the great sandpipers could be seen foraging low in twos and threes on the bare beach. From time to time, black floats used in marine aquaculture are seen from the beach. Some places are fishponds, including those used for freshwater fish farming, and shrimp ponds for saltwater shrimp farming. In the nearby area, there were a large number of relict gulls overwintering there. There was also a lot of geese and gulls flying low on the water surface.


Near noon, the team reached the boundary of the provincial nature reserve in Caofeidian. Thousands of wild ducks were found in the fishpond, but after watching there for more than half an hour, an Oriental stork was not found. Caofeidian Wetland and Bird Provincial Nature Reserve are located on the west side of the mouth of the Luanhe River. The team walked into the reserve and found that its buffer zone was basically on the left side of the road and the right side belonged to the experimental area. On the right side of the road, slices of fishponds and oil fields that were being exploited could be seen. There were also large excavators in operation, and continuous factories could be seen. Ask ed the locals about the Oriental storks, told the Oriental storks were once seen on the other side of the river beside the highway.


A bridge on the river near the road is under repair. With a little attention, a dirt road could be found next to the dangerous bridge that can enter the buffer zone of the protected area. There is still water in several small rivers in the buffer zone and the reeds had grown so high that they had become dense barriers. In the buffer zone, the billboards in the Gulf Wetland International Resort Town stand out. A golf course farther away could be seen from the barrier of reeds not far away. The fishponds in the buffer zone have dried up at this time, and the fish have been caught.


The most impressive and puzzling thing is that the core area of the entire protected area is unattended, and 80-90% of it has become a contracted fishpond, leaving only the middle place a small piece of natural wetland. There are no small fish or shrimp in the dried fishpond. Of course, no Oriental stork was found in this wetland reserve.


In the CBCGDF China Conservation Area for Waterfowl (CCAfa) of the Daqinghe Salt Field, the team saw another scene. Before entering the protected area, an Oriental stork was searching for food on a nearby grass stall. The land there was still wet, although there were signs of the fishpond drying up. In the small fishpond at the rescue station, there were also 5 to 6 Oriental storks foraging. According to the staff of the rescue station, there were three rescued Oriental storks. When they recovered, they were released. Just a few days ago, there were hundreds of Oriental storks flying there, eager to find food there, and some hit the net. The rescue station fed them more than 30 kilograms of small fish in batches, leaving them full and flying away.


According to the staff at the rescue station, they had not seen many Oriental storks come to the Daqinghe in the past years. More than a hundred came here this year, which was quite rare. Judging from their hunger, it is speculated that it may be the place where they were foraging has something wrong. But to their disappointment the wetland in Caofeidian and the dried-up fishponds in the provincial nature reserve of birds had no food for them. Instead, this small rescue station helped them.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:

By / Maggie