Yellow Sea habitat loss

To: Debbie Lustig <>
Subject: Yellow Sea habitat loss
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 07:59:42 +1000
Debbie, the Australasian Wader Study Group and Ornithological Society of New Zealand have been working for a number of years trying to influence Chinese and Korean governments with field trips for data collection, training and every other delegation strategy they could think of. When you are dealing with poorer countries, you learn that their priorities are different from those of rich countries like ours. Food and housing are far more important than a few silly birds. AWSG has supported Birds Korea as much as it could, but taking on goverments in those hugely populated countries is not like taking on the Australian government.

I've been fretting over the problem for years (it was no secret), but in the end I decided to take care of my own patch. And as long as the Australian government ignores coastal habitat loss situations here, those other governments can and do claim that we ought to set our own example before criticising others.

If you can get a movement started, go ahead, but do so knowing about what has gone before you. I wish you all the best.

One example:
Google "invisible connections" and you can download a wonderful book by Phil Battley, Brian McCaffery and Danny Rogers, with photos by Jan van der Kam, which was presented to every delegate at the Ramsar conference in South Korea a couple of years ago. Since then the Korean government has gone ahead with plans for further damming of key rivers which flow into the Yellow Sea. They couldn't give a toss.



Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S  152° 56' 00"E

On 19/09/2010 9:50 PM, Debbie Lustig wrote:

Thanks to recent posts, we now have a better idea of the dire threats to 
shorebirds that use the local flyway. What needs to happen is not just Chris 
and Adrian's science, but action of a political nature if we are to have any 
hope of affecting this ongoing loss of habitat.

The time to wring our hands and say "heartbreaking" is over: there are things 
we must do - if we have the will. We can get organised, sign petitions, lobby political 
parties, inform the public, exert pressure via boycotts of products. Has anyone thought 
of doing these things? Can we live with ourselves with the knowledge we just didn't try?

Laurie Levy's 20-year campaign to end shooting of native waterbirds in 
Australia has borne fruit; already three states have banned it (though not yet 
Victoria). His efforts should be an example to us all.

As with shorebirds, so with other threatened species. Unless we bring their 
plight to the public's attention, predicted population crashes of many common 
species are going to happen, hidden, unremarked on, silent - and ignored.
Can we afford not to take action?

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