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China Attaches Importance to Cooperative Efforts to Protect Migratory Birds Ambassador Wang Lutong visits Shorebird Protection Centre
2015/03/25

On 20 March, Ambassador Wang Lutong visited the Miranda Shorebird Centre at the invitation of New Zealand Department of Conservation Director-General Mr Lou Sanson. Ambassador Wang observed the bar-tailed godwit, red knot and other shorebirds ready to fly to the Northern Hemisphere for the winter. The Ambassador also learnt about New Zealand's shorebird protection practices and discussed efforts to further strengthen cooperation between China and New Zealand to protect migratory birds with relevant national and local government bodies.

Ambassador Wang noted that the Chinese government attaches great importance to ecological conservation and wildlife protection. The bar-tailed godwit plays an important role in Maori culture and is also considered a link between the Chinese and New Zealand people. Early in 2004, Yalu River National Nature Reserve of China signed a Sister Reserve Agreement with the Miranda Naturalists' Trust. The Yalu River Reserve has now become the second largest wetlands in China thanks to extensive efforts made by the local Chinese government and relevant departments. Ambassador Wang hoped that China and New Zealand can further strengthen exchanges and cooperation to protect migratory birds.

The bar-tailed godwit can fly non-stop for over 10,000 kilometers, enjoying a reputation as the 'World Champion for Long Distance Flying'. Every year, adult bar-tailed godwits depart from New Zealand in March, arriving in the Yellow Sea after a 7-8 day flight. After an approximately 6-week break to recover at the Yalu River National Nature Reserve and surrounding countries, they continue north to Alaska, U.S.A. to breed. They fly back to New Zealand direct in September-October for the winter.

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