Monday, 15 February 2016

Waders, waders, waders

Research recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology shows that the shrinking of mudflats along the coasts of the Chinese Yellow Sea is an increasing problem for migratory birds that travel between Siberia and Australia.   This research, led by Theunis Piersma, shows that three wader species, the Knot, Great Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit, are in decline because of one common factor: loss of food and habitat along the coasts of the Yellow Sea.  During our work at Chongming Dongtan we have been privileged to work not only with David Melville, but also Professor Ma of Fudan University, two members of the research team. 

Chongming Island, at the mouth of the Yangstze is a remarkable place for waders.  However, we have witnessed the remarkable speed of the loss of intertidal areas along the coast through reclamation, and also the threats, such as wind farms and shell-fisheries on the remaining areas.  The photographs here show some of the research, the threats and the diversity of waders that occur on this coast.
 (Bar-tailed Godits and pumping dredgings - David Melville)

 Great Knot 
 Red-necked Stint

 Wind farms, shell-fishing and waders
 Mudflat reclamation
 Marsh sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Collecting clams
 Long-billed Dowitcher
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

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