Cause of Raptors' Mortality in Qinghai Jiatang Grassland Yet to be Disclosed: Jinfeng Zhou Urges More Efforts in Safeguarding the Eco-Guardians of the Plateau Ecosystem
2023/7/27 14:41:00 本站

Raptors, as key species in plateau ecosystems, hold significant importance in maintaining ecosystem services. Jiatang grassland is located in Chengduo County, Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai Province. It features a typical wide valley landscape in the southeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the northern part of the Hengduan Mountains. It nurtures abundant biodiversity. However, recent incidents in the Qinghai Jiatang grassland have raised concerns over the well-being of local ecosystem. The unexplained mass mortality of raptors in this region has drawn attention to the urgent need for conservation efforts and scientific investigations to safeguard these majestic birds and the delicate balance of the plateau ecosystem.

In late June, an environmental volunteer known as "常乐" brought to light a distressing discovery during his tenure as a "bird counter" in the Qinghai Yushu prefecture's Batang and Jiatang grasslands. Over 50 raptor carcasses were found between May 24th and June 21st, mostly near 10KV powerline poles or communication stations. This alarming situation has sparked calls from experts and conservationists, urging immediate action to uncover the cause of this mortality.

Dr. Jinfeng Zhou, the Secretary-General of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), stressed the significance of understanding the reasons behind the raptor deaths. He emphasized the importance of cooperation among various scientists to conduct joint assessments, ensuring effective conservation measures for the Three Rivers Source (三江源) and the surrounding areas, where raptors play a crucial role in the ecosystem.

Questions have arisen regarding the responsibility for addressing this issue, with the Three Rivers Source National Park clarifying that the Jiatang grassland falls outside its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, local authorities in Yushu prefecture have entrusted relevant organizations to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the bird deaths. In response, the "Public Interest Litigation Research Base" organized a seminar inviting experts and environmental volunteers to discuss bird protection and the role of power grids in preserving wildlife.

Dr Zhou reiterated the urgency of identifying the exact cause of the raptor deaths, emphasizing that the location of the incident should not overshadow the need for swift action and scientific analysis. He called for prompt solutions to prevent similar incidents and emphasized the importance of prioritizing the protection of wild birds, particularly those residing near power grids.

Biodiversity Conservation in Our Neighborhood (BCON) is an important concept introduced by Zhou Jinfeng, emphasizing the need to engage in biodiversity conservation and reduce biodiversity footprints during production and daily life. The energy sector has significant potential in contributing to neighborhood biodiversity conservation efforts.

In response to this distressing event, efforts have been made to strengthen volunteer patrols and rescue operations near powerline areas. Wildlife conservation experts have also been engaged to participate in the investigation, despite some challenges. Dr. Zhou urges continued monitoring and attention to the situation, ensuring that further actions will be taken to protect these magnificent creatures and maintain the ecological balance of plateau regions.

In a word, the unexplained mass mortality of raptors in the Qinghai Jiatang grassland has underscored the significance of these majestic birds in preserving the plateau ecosystem. Collaborative efforts between scientific communities, environmental volunteers, and relevant authorities will be essential in safeguarding raptors and preserving the vital services these ecosystems provide. Protecting and understanding the plight of raptors is a crucial step towards ensuring the sustainability of the plateau ecosystem for generations to come.

Original report in Chinese:


Reporter: Littlejane

Editor: YJ

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