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Green corridor for migratory birds

10 may 2009
International Migratory Bird Day was marked by strengthening East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership. The flyway includes Amur River where WWF-Russia plays key role in waterfowl conservation.

The International Migratory Bird Day – spring holiday is celebrated on 9th May, when millions birds are flying from their wintering grounds in Australia, India, Vietnam, Korea, South China towards the north of Eurasia, where they nest and bring out nestlings. In order to make the way of these brave air conquerors safe, people agreed to protect it all along from the south to the north. Hundred thousand birdwatchers are trying to help their feathered friends: conduct bird monitoring, take care of their nests, protect places of stops from human impact, tell the world about bird issues.

Representatives of governmental, scientific organizations and NGOs have arrived to South Korea on this day in order to join efforts on conservation of East Asia waterfowl. Since 1996 there were three independent networks for migratory bird conservation: the North East Asian Crane and Stork Conservation Network, the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network, and the East Asian Anatidae Site Network. In 2006 they were reorganized into East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership. But the Secretariat of Partnership was established only yesterday thanks to the government of South Korea and Incheon city which provided 2,5 million dollars for its support for 5 year period.

11 key territories for migratory waterfowl protection lay within Amur basin, comments Yury Darman, director of WWF Russia Amur branch and one of the participants of the meeting. “Japanese, white-naped and hooded cranes are flying from Russian nesting sites to Korean peninsular for wintering, and we can protect these beautiful birds only working in close cooperation with each other. Wildlife refuges and nature reserves already took about one million hectares of wetlands under their protection within WWF Amur ecoregional programme.”

Visible success of international efforts is the return of Japanese ibis, which is successfully breeding in China again. After 30 years of extinction, oriental white storks returned to nature in Japan. And the number of spoonbill increased from 300 to 2000 birds!