I've been sent link to a sobering article (on same day I've seen some photos from researchers seeing spoon-billed sandpipers on breeding grounds...)
While most scientists are proud of their breakthroughs, Dutch ornithologist Theunis Piersma, who discovered and named after himself a subspecies of the red knot (Calidris canutus), says he's ashamed to talk about the creature. "I feel very proud to have these birds named after me, but I fear that they may actually become extinct in my lifetime," the 54-year-old told a recent conference in the coastal city of Tangshan, Hebei province. The red knot subspecies piersmai is among many migratory shorebirds that make the inter-tidal mudflat in Luannan wetland a critical stop along their annual migrations from Australia to the Arctic.
As booming industry continues to devour the mudflat - one of Bohai Bay's last - these birds are losing the key resting site of their migrations and will likely face extinction.
Beijing Normal University ornithologist Zhang Zhengwang says: "While Bohai Bay is undergoing fast economic development, it's losing its biodiversity."
- so horribly sad. I first went to Bohai area, especially Beidaihe, in mid-1980s; remember wild stretches of coast, with only few farmers and tiny villages in sight; remember first seeing mudflats to the southeast of Tianjin [just outside main area for reclamations I believe, so far... - but still threats], and soon after making visit to place that became known as Happy Island: where big flocks of both knot species roosted at high tide.
Since then, we've known of S Korea destroying the massive Saemangeum coastal wetland, with little fuss from international conservation community; and now seems China is hell-bent on doing likewise not so far away.
Add a "great wall" of wind turbines existing or planned at north of the bay, and this pivotal area for migration - among the very best areas in the world - is in dire situation.