Thanks to the tremendous work of some dedicated individuals and the support from the local community and the authorities, 13 ORIENTAL STORKS were successfully released yesterday at Beidagang, Tianjin.
Last night I had the pleasure to meet some of the volunteers involved after my lecture to the Beijing Birdwatching Society and I was so inspired by their passion and dedication to saving their wild birds. They are a wonderful example of how community action can make a difference and provide real hope for the future. However, it is important not to get carried away with one small success and, as if to illustrate that point, during my conversation with one of the volunteers, she received a phone call to say to that a single ORIENTAL STORK had been found dead, suspected by poisoning, near Happy Island, Tangshan, Hebei Province. A sobering reminder that the events at Beidagang, although resulting in a happy ending on this occasion, represented just one small battle in the war against the illegal persecution of birds in China.
You can see some of the photographs from the release here.
The volunteers I spoke to were overwhelmed by the support from all over the world as expressed on the Chinese Currents website. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to comment.