It’s late April 2015 and one of East Asia’s great wildlife spectacles is in full swing at Yalu Jiang Kou NNR, Liaoning Province, P.R. China.
Tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds have descended on the rich inter-tidal flats of this important national nature reserve, and with them have come a unique group of human travelers too. Scientists, conservationists and nature reserve managers from NE China and other parts of the East Asia Australasian Flyway have joined the shorebirds in Donggang City, for the “Workshop on Wetland and Waterbird Conservation in the Yellow Sea, 22-24 April 2015”, and the annual Dandong Bird Festival.
The workshop brings together scientists from the Alaskan breeding grounds of the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica); Chinese nature reserve managers and staff from wetlands that are important migration stop-over sites for the species; and, conservationists from New Zealand where the species spends the winter period, to discuss conservation measures necessary for the species survival and the ways and means of sharing data and technology on how to conserve this and other species using the flyway.
The workshop was organized by the Yalu Jiang NNR and Wetlands International-China ,and hosted by the Dandong City government and Wetlands international-China. The Presentations included an update on the Flyway Partnership, its Yellow Sea work program and briefings on the conservation partnership between Yalu Jiang National Nature Reserve and the New Zealand Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust.
Participants shared their extensive knowledge of Godwit breeding biology, migration strategies and routes and wintering ecology; and, also shared the experience of watching huge flocks of Godwits feeding on the inter-tidal flats at Yalu Jiang NNR before they head off on a direct, non-stop flight to their Alaskan breeding grounds in early May.
The Workshop provided an important opportunity to enhance partnerships within the flyway, and broad agreements were reached on the need to share more data and information within the flyway. Wetlands International-China will continue to work closely with all participants to develop a strategy to move these partnerships and ideas forward; and, to ensure that the amazing spectacle of shorebird migration continues at Yalu Jiang NNR and other key wetlands within the Yellow Sea.