DONGYING, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Yellow River estuary in Dongying city witnessed a peak in bird migration in early November, with numerous rare species flocking to the area, which is part of their migratory route.
With its temperate, semi-humid continental monsoon climate, the Yellow River Delta is an important stop for millions of migratory birds. Two bird migration routes in the world pass through the delta.
"Birds are highly important to maintaining a healthy balance in ecosystems," said Kanni Wignaraja, assistant secretary general of the United Nations and regional director for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Development Programme at the opening ceremony of a birdwatching season event in Dongying on Nov 12.
"Strengthening bird conservation and maintaining ecological diversity is not only one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals but also a shared responsibility of all humanity," she added. Wignaraja also praised the bird and wetland preservation efforts undertaken by Dongying, where the Yellow River flows into the Bohai Sea.
Dongying has in recent years taken major steps to preserve the ecology of the wetlands and the biodiversity in the Yellow River Delta region and has been striving to establish itself as a globally recognized eco-tourism destination, according to Chen Bichang, mayor of Dongying.
One of the measures taken is increasing funds to support ecological restoration projects regarding water supplements, cordgrass treatment, and offshore biodiversity conservation.
A state-of-the-art ecological monitoring center for the Yellow River Delta has also been established to manage data related to meteorology, water, quality, soil, and marine. A strong emphasis has been placed on protecting habitats for key species such as cranes, black-billed gulls, and Oriental white storks, as well as preserving native flora like wild soybeans and restoring aquatic life to increase biodiversity levels.
The improvements to the ecosystem have resulted in a growing number of wild animals taking shelter in the city. Presently, 373 bird species can be found at the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, which is often dubbed an "international airport for avian species."
The birdwatching season event, which spans for nearly two months, includes a photography competition, a birdwatching competition and conferences focusing on biodiversity and bird protection. The occasion serves as a prominent showcase of the ecological characteristics of Dongying.