Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


waterbird; migration; wetland; conservation; satellite tracking; integrated catchment management

Document Type

Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Civilization


The linkage created by migratory birds in time and space and between different global ecosystems, local biodiversity and diverse human culture epitomises the concept of “All Life on Earth”. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, referred to as the Ramsar Convention below, uses bird abundance as a means to identify the relative significance of Wetlands of International Importance, tightly linking the most threatened wetlands on our planet with waterbird conservation. Wetland loss and degradation in Asia has caused a dramatic decrease in waterbird abundance and diversity, underlining the critical need for monitoring and conserving those natural systems that remain. Through close cooperation with 10 other countries, the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has established the largest migratory bird movement ecological database in Asia, with independent intellectual property rights. It contains basic data on the migration strategies and flyways of large-bodied birds in Asia. Analyses of these data have shown that migratory large-bodied birds from over 20 Asian countries have all used wetland habitats in China, and the area of intensive use accounts for less than 1.5% of China's total land area, mainly concentrated in the floodplains of just six river systems. Furthermore, we have identified critical relationships between wetland area, inundation area, hydrological process and bird abundance, diversity and behaviour. Large-scale development of wetland and water resources has caused loss and degradation of waterbird habitat, resulting in dramatic decreases in waterbird numbers. From a global perspective, the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats represents a common challenge for all human beings. In recent years, China has pioneered the successful conservation of its most threatened typical wetlands, which provides valuable practical experience and confidence for global biodiversity conservation. Finally, we make recommendations as to how China can take the lead in organizing global migratory bird monitoring and conservation.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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