China has the most categories of flora and fauna all over the world. There are 86,575 species, including 35,905 in flora and most of them belong to the migratory species. However, due to factors like climate change, humans’ activities, etc, the habitats for migratory species become smaller and smaller and the number of rare species also decreases. It is high time that we protect birds.
Tian Zhiwei is the director of CCAfa for Waterfowls at Tangshan, Hebei Province. He said, “People have to build an awareness of protecting birds.” He also said we should establish CCAfa to offer birds comfortable areas and call on more and more people to take active part in it.
Tian as a veteran has been working on the protection of waterfowls for thirteen years. In 2010, Mr Tian spent 2000RMB to build Daqinghe Rescue Station. The station was circled by iron which he built some cabins as the rescuing and healing rooms. A pool covering over one hundred square kilometers provides drinking water for the migratory birds. Mr Tian organized a guard team to patrol around Bohai area, the patrolling mileage reaching over tens of thousands miles, saving thousands of birds. More than 30 species of forest birds, 10 species of birds of prey and 50 species of waders were saved in Daqinghe Rescue Station. His hometown Leting County is located in south eastern Tangshan, an important stop for migratory birds on the (East Asian-Australian Flyway) EAAF. There are nine routes for migratory birds in the world and the route passing through Tangshan is one of them. Mr. Tian was accompanied by birds since childhood.
All year around he tours along the path, does research on the surviving situation of birds on wetlands, stops poachers and advocates the importance of protecting birds to the local people. According to Mr Tian’s understanding, the most important thing to do is to change people’s mindset. Thanks to his efforts, the idea of loving birds and protecting birds has been entrenched in the local community. Villagers used to pick up birds eggs but now the case is very rare. Villagers will also send the hurt birds to Mr Tian’s station for rescue. Cooperated with the scientific institutions, he wore GPS device for the birds and numbered them. When the birds are freed, the researchers could track the migratory route and habitats in time accurately and make use of the valuable status.
(Mr Tian observing the birds)
(a rescued bird was marked)
In Sept. 2016, The CCAfa director attended the 10th International Conference on Wetland and took CCAfa as an example to introduce the volunteering work of Chinese NGOs to the wetland conservation experts and people protecting birds around the world. They were highly impressed by his capability to recognize various species of birds fast and accurately by naked eye even from distance.
Tian won international recognition
In November 2016, Dr. Bradnee Chambers, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species（CMS）, visited the China Conservation Area for Waterbirds at Tangshan. Accompanied by Mr Tian, Dr. Chambers released some Common Shelducks, Grebes, an Eagle Owl and a Sparrow hawk with the staff of the China Conservation Area. More than 50 volunteers and scientists witnessed the beautiful moment.
Dr Chambers highly praised the work of the China Conservation Areas and Mr Tian, saying that the volunteers, who dedicate their time every day to the rehabilitation and protection of birds and their habitats for some of the most highly threatened species, set an amazing example for conservation efforts worldwide.
Story: Helping a injured Red-crowned Crane
A Red-crowned Crane was saved by CCAfa (Community conservation area for something at somewhere) for waterfowls at Tangshan on May 7th 2017. With a broken wing and fractured left-leg, the migratory bird is under good care by Mr. Tian Zhiwei.
Tian gives biodiversity lectures for the future generation
On May 15, Mr. Tian Zhiwei, delivered an excellent speech on environment and waterfowl to kids. On the lecture, he introduced the common bird species in the local and the value of the migratory species. Kids and their parents were deeply touched by his story with birds and encouraged to protect them.
A CCTV documentary
CCTV broadcasted a documentary Tian Zhiwei’s story (director of #CCAfa for Waterfowls at Tangshan) on helping birds.