CBCGDF Sent Letters to the Relevant Government Departments, Hoping to Arouse Their Attention to the Current Severe Destruction of the CCA for Relic Gulls at Tianjin

On May 12, 2019, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) received a report from the volunteers of the CBCGDF China Conservation Area for Relic Gulls at Tianjin (CCAfa): A wintering tidal flat for relic gulls on the west side of the Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park currently is being severely damaged by the flood of people there mining clams.


Since the May Day holiday in 2019, the number of people from Tianjin and surrounding provinces and cities flood to this tidal flat, to dig clams, crabs, etc. has reached more than 2,000. These people insist on mining the clams regardless of the dissuasion of the volunteers and the situation is becoming more and more severe. In the first time, CBCGDF wrote letters to the Bureau of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Department of Wetlands Management of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Department of Wildlife Conservation of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Tianjin Municipal Party Committee and other relevant departments, sincerely hoping that relevant departments can pay attention to the protection of the important habitat for relic gulls in Tianjin.


Relic gulls (Larus relictus) is a king of endangered migratory birds. It is China’s national first-class protected animal. As of 2017, the total number of relic gulls in the world is only about 12,000.


These days, the important habitat of the relic gulls in Tianjin has been devastatingly destroyed – many people flock there to be “close to nature”: with shovels, buckets and other tools, to dig away the clams and other creatures form the tidal flat, without knowing that this actually interfered with the large number of migratory birds living in this tidal flat, destroying the natural environment and also robbing the food of the relic gulls. The relic gulls that come to this tidal flat each year account for more than 90% of the global population. At this moment, the scene on the tidal flat in Tianjin is a serious threat to the survival of the relic gull population.


Since May 2nd, the volunteers of the CBCGDF CCAfa (China Conservation Area for relic gulls at Tianjin) have started to communicate with all relevant parties, going to relevant government departments, hoping them can intervene the issue urgently, but till now haven’t get a reply from any of them. In desperation, on May 7th, the volunteers reported the issue to the Tianjin Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government by telephone. After the call was connected, the opposite person informed the volunteers that they knew it. However, nearly a week later, the volunteers of the CCAfa site have not received any follow-up results.


At present, in the sky above the tidal flat, there are not many relic gulls left, and there are about one hundred or so staying; and the waterfowls and shore birds that inhabit there are not able to fly down, hovering with a screaming to protest against the surging crowd; although very anxious, the volunteers can only use their meager strength to try to discourage the large number of greedy people.


To this end, CBCGDF’s this CCAfa site sent a letter to the relevant department of Tianjin City. First, we hope that the government will intervene in this large-scale mining creatures and destroying the ecology environment situation on this tidal flat as soon as possible. Second, it is hoped that the relevant departments will incorporate such a tidal flat with the significance of internationally important wetlands into the scope of protection by the state. The third is to delineate the ecological red line around the habitat, strictly control the influx of people flow, and prevent the destruction of important tidal flat natural and ecological environment.


The CBCGDF China Conservation Area for relic gulls at Tianjin sincerely hopes that the relevant departments will carefully consider this issue from the perspective of ecological civilization, plan from a policy perspective, and protect the habitat of this precious and endangered species relic gulls, to carry out environmental education to the public through various channels, so as not to make the relic gulls “abandoned gulls”.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

By / Niu Jingmei




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