• Captive-breed Black-faced Spoonbill returned to RO Korea after a year

    Written by Dr. Inki Kwon (National Institute of Ecology) Since its artificial breeding in July last year, a Black-faced Spoonbill returned from China to Korea in…


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  • Great Knot tagged in Yalujiang reaching UAE

    Great Knot sighted in Mirfa-Eastern Shoreline, United Arab Emirates © Paul Kinnock   Breeding season is coming to the end, migratory waterbirds are already on their move. Earlier in spring during northward migration, one Great Knot with green flag over orange flag on the right leg, originally banded in Yalujiang, Liaoning, China on 26th August 2020, was sighted in Mirfa-Eastern Shoreline (24°04'19.6"N 53°34'05.5"E), United Arab Emirates on 2nd April 2021. Rare records of Great Knot winter or pass through to this western-most range of its migration range. This sighting contributes to the knowledge on migration routes of Great Knot, which was thought to be mostly restricted to the East Asian – Australasian Flyway. Oscar Campbell, a UAE-based birdwatcher and chairman of the Emirates Bird Records Committee said “this record is another wonderful affirmation of the interconnectedness between the Eastern flyway and the Arabian Gulf and of the amazing routes and distances covered by migratory shorebirds in general. Great Knot winters in only small numbers here at the western limits of its non-breeding range and this is the second banding recovery we have had of this species here.” According to Mr. Bai Qing Quan, banders in Yalujiang, Liaoning Province, China “Three first year Great Knots were banded with green over orange plain flag in Yalujiang, on 26th August 2020.” There was also one sighting of a first year Great Knot with this legflag combination recorded in Akshi Beach, Raigad District, Maharashtra, India on 8 November 2020. It was one of the entries of 2020 #LegflagChallenge Photo Contest. Mr. Bai said these were both astonishing records and thanked the observers for the sightings. Great Knot sighted in India in November 2020 © Avinash Bhagat   Dr. Qing Zeng, EAAFP Science Officer expressed that, “ There are still a lot that we do not know about the migration of waterbirds. The sighting of a Great Knot which is thought to be restricted in the EAA Flyway found in United Arab Emirates in the Central Asia Flyway proves that information exchange between flyways is important. In addition, continuous studies using legflegs, tags and satellite tracking on migratory waterbirds is necessary, and we should promote to engage more bird watchers to report any resightings of tagged waterbirds.” We at the EAAFP Secretariat are excited to have you join us on the #LegflagChallenge social media campaign in partnership with our friends at the Oriental Bird Club, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force and BirdLife International! Look out for migratory waterbirds with any legflags, tags, bands, take photographs and share them with us! Post on Facebook the photo of birds with legflags and mark the date, locations (GPS) of the photo taken, species and tag information Hashtag #legflagchallenge Tag 3 friends to take on this challenge We also strongly encourage you to repost your observation to this ”Shorebird leg-flag sightings in the EAAF”  Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/175781629137442 For the Black-faced Spoonbill, share your sightings here: https://bfsn.bfsa.org.tw/ Join the 2021 #LegflagChallenge social media campaign: https://www.eaaflyway.net/join-the-legflagchallenge/ Learn more about 2020 #LegflagChallenge Photo Contest results: https://www.eaaflyway.net/2020-legflagchallenge-photo-contest-results


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  • “World Natural Heritage & Biodiversity: The Conservation and Sustainable Development of Coastal Migratory Bird Sanctuaries” side event at 44th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting, China

    On the evening of 16th July, 2021, the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting kicked off in Fuzhou, China. This is the first time in UNESCO’s history that World Heritage topics will be reviewed and discussed online. The meeting was held from 16th July to 31st July, 2021 evaluated 45 agenda items for the World Heritage List, including the inscription of the “Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats” of the Republic of Korea. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the session. A side event “World Natural Heritage & Biodiversity: Conservation and Sustainable Development of Coastal Migratory Bird Sanctuaries” was held on 17th July, hosted by National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China, and was organized by Yancheng Municipal People's Government, Eco Foundation Global, Fujian Provincial Administration of Forestry, and Fuzhou Municipal Administration of Forestry. Over 100 participants joined the side event. The side event aimed to: Showcase achievements on the conservation and sustainable development of coastal habitats for migratory waterbirds, highlighting the unique role of World Natural Heritage for biodiversity conservation. Voice out for conservation of coastal wetlands – to raise global attention, to seek for more international cooperation on ecological environment, promoting the concept of a community of life for man and nature. With the focus on how World Natural Heritage promotes global biodiversity conservation, the event invited acknowledgeable speakers from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, EAAFP Secretariat, Yellow Sea Migratory Bird Habitats (Phase I) World Heritage Site, Shanghai Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve, and to share experiences on conservation of coastal habitats and migratory waterbirds, as well as to share vision on international cooperation and collaboration. Prof. Lei Guangchun, Advisor of EAAFP Science Unit chaired a session of the event ©EAAFP Science Unit   The event was kick-started with was moderation by Mr. Wang Zhigao, Director of Conservation Area Management Department, National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA). Opening remarks were given by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Beijing and Mr. Zhang Xinsheng, President and Chairman of the IUCN, as well as Mr. Peng Youdong, Deputy Director of NFGA. In the second session, the Summit Dialogue, the Advisor of EAAFP Science Unit, Prof. Lei Guangchun, was the moderator. Dr. Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas delivered a presentation to introduce the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme and the Green List programme. Mr. Bernard Baerends, Executive Secretary of Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, shared the experiences of how the trilateral World heritage Site work and brought to conservation and contribute to the local communities. Mr. Doug Watkins, Chief Executive of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership Secretariat, spoke about the importance of joint effort for conserving wetlands in the EAA Flyway, and how the WH inscription foster the conservation, especially in the Yellow Sea region. Mr. Doug Watkins, Chief Executive of EAAFP Secretariat, delivering speech during the event ©Eco Foundation Global   The last session was a Panel Discussion, with Mr. Jiang Wei, Deputy Mayer of Yancheng City, Prof. Zhang Zhengwang, Beijing Normal University, and Mr. Niu Dongliang, Director of Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve Management Center. The tidal flats of the Yellow Sea are of global importance, especially for the congregation of many species of migratory birds that use the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase II) is now under intensive preparation to be included into the World Heritage List session of the World Heritage Committee. Panel discussion ©EAAFP Science Unit


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  • “Flyway: connecting people and migratory waterbirds” story series #12 – Ms. Katherine Leung

    If someone asked Katherine Leung what is her work, “Following the migratory waterbirds” may probably her answer. This EAAFP flyway featuring this lady who migrates along the coast of…


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  • Anatidae WG organized Symposium in the 9th EAFES International Congress in Hohhot, China

    The 9th EAFES International Congress was held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China, from 10-13th July 2021, hosted by the East Asian Federation of Ecological Societies (EAFES), with eight symposiums included. The symposium 04 was organized by the Anatidae Working Group (AWG) and Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RCEES, CAS), entitled with “Recent telemetry technology helps waterbird and wetland conservation in East Asia”. Professor Lei CAO of RCEES is the Principal organizer of symposium 04, co-organized by the Chair Masayuki KURECHI and the coordinator Katsumi USHIYAMA of the AWG, and Dr. Hansoo LEE from Korea Institute of Environmental Ecology. This has been an exhilarating online meeting and we can all be deeply grateful to old friends and new friends for contributing an inspiring program of excellent talks. We are so grateful to everybody for helping to overcome the challenges of not being able to be together but to continue to build our collaborations through the internet. The symposium 04 aimed to think about how to work together to save waterbirds and wetlands for our next generation, including 4 sections and 29 oral reports. 4 sections are included: Waterbird monitoring and population trends, Recent research on Common waterbird species, Recent research on globally threatened waterbird species, Waterbird and wetland conservation. A number of highlights from the meeting have emerged. The first is the need for continued long-term monitoring of waterbird abundance on breeding, staging and wintering areas to monitor the state of the populations (mainly in winter when most aggregated) but also at other times of year. This is essential to check the quality of our protected areas and effects of positive and adverse management activities to better understand how to protect sites and the waterbirds that use them. The extraordinary value of combining tracking studies with site protection. Telemetry has revealed discrete biogeographical populations, but also shown links between disease and these migration routes and identified new important key sites but also taught us much about how birds use the protected site and their networks. As we have seen with the rare species such as the Swan Goose and Black-faced Spoonbill, and vulnerable subspecies Tibetan Common Crane, we need to increasingly combine these sources of knowledge if we are going to identify the key factors affecting their abundance and make sure we create adequate areas of sufficient quality to protect our waterbirds for future generations. We also heard how the description of flyway routes can aid with spatial planning, especially with regard to the location of wind turbines, which is crucial in case of Japan, where offshore big wind farms are planned along Japan Sea coast. In Akita prefecture and other northern part of Honshu Island, thousands of big wind turbines (maximum 260 m high) are on the way to be built along the sea coast about 1-3km off the coast.  That is likely to affect many waterbirds (swans, geese, ducks and other sea birds) of this flyway especially during migration. We are much concerned about the expected damage on waterbirds and feel the need to establish a guideline to avoid such damages. We need to be better at seeing adverse trends earlier, the worrying declines in the Aythya duck in Japan show that the common species of today can become the rare species of tomorrow if we do not generate populations’ trends and act to find the reasons for their unfavorable conservation status. It also reminds of the need to develop more demographic monitoring, including sampling sex and age ratios, to estimate per capita reproductive success and survival so that we can interpret observed changes in population size. It is vital we know if populations are declining because of poor reproductive success and/or increasing mortality so we can investigate why. Kurechi-San also reminded us of the value of recovery and restoration to supplement our research and conservation efforts to rescue species. He also reminded us of the tragic loss this year of Prof Andreev, who was such a knowledgeable giant of waterbird ecology in our flyway. Wind farms as an emerging threat for waterbirds, and the need to provide evidence-based solutions for such threats. The Liaohe River study reminds us of the continued loss of habitat in the face of development and the continued need to be vigilant, but also reminds us of the importance of gathering scientific data to fight for the protection of our globally important waterbird populations. Most of all, we see the increasing benefit of countries and researchers working together to the benefit of our waterbirds. It is so exciting and encouraging to see the strengthening links and bonds between all the countries along the East Asian flyway to the benefit of our shared waterbirds, reflected in the work of the Crane Working Group of Eurasia, but also in the multinational authorship of the all talks we have heard the last two days. We still have no idea about Brent Goose flyways and the true status of this species in our region, yet researchers in six countries are doing their best to plug this gap. This type of collaboration is vital if we are going to see more success stories like those of Oriental Stork, Black-faced Spoonbill, and Crested Ibis about which we have heard. Such successes were unthinkable a few years ago, yet they are real achievements today. Let us make sure we do not let down the waterbirds tomorrow by ensuring the continued fruitful collaboration we have celebrated at this meeting the last two days. We definitely need more public support to mainstream conservation of waterbirds and wetlands in Asia, and waterbird research will have an important role by unraveling the amazing lives of the birds and revealing serious threats that is happening right near us.  We could share various local problems for conservation of waterbirds. Those situations might be already resolved in some area, and going to be experienced other area in near future. In order to moving forward waterbird conservation in Asia, we can more cooperate with each other. Many thanks again to the organizers of a very productive symposium covering so much information. The discussion will be carried on in different working group, Such as the AWG (Anatidae Working Group), and every suggestion and help will be welcomed. ⓒ Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, July 2021 To learn more about 9th EAFES International Congress, click [here]. *The article was prepared by the Anatidae Working Group.


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  • “Flyway: connecting people and migratory waterbirds” story series #11 – Ms. Jing Li, Co-Founder of Spoon-billed Sandpiper in China

    If you are aware of conservation work for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, you may have heard about Spoon-billed Sandpiper in China (SBSinChina), a local NGO aiming to protect this Critically Endangered…


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  • The 1st International Symposium on the Conservation of East Asian Population of the Dalmatian Pelican held in China

    From May 12-14, the Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry (RISF) of the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) and the Society of Entrepreneurs & Ecology (SEE) in Beijing co-hosted The…


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  • “Development of a Joint Inventory of the Status of Migratory Birds in the West/Yellow Sea” – Webinar summary

    On 27 May 2021, a webinar namely “Development of a Joint Inventory of the Status of Migratory Birds in the West/Yellow Sea”…


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  • 2021 South China Spoon-billed sandpiper (SBS) winter census

    Abstract China SBS winter census is conducted annually to assess the distribution and population of this critically endangered species. This year, the census…


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  • 20-Year Population Trends of Wintering Waterbirds in Deep Bay, South China

    Along the East Asian-Australasian flyway (EAAF), waterbirds are threatened by a wide range of environmental and anthropogenic factors. Habitat transformation along the coast of China, especially in the Yellow…


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