One of the long held mysteries of the northward shorebird migration was “where are the Red Knots going?”  Surveys around the shores of the Yellow Sea showed few large concentrations of knots, and it has only been in the last few years, through the work of Chris Hassell and the Global Flyway Network that we have come to understand that the area near Caofeidian Industrial Park in the Bohai Bay is the main staging site for Red Knots on their way north.

Unlike Yalu Jiang National Nature Reserve this is not an area that has any protection, and the team that is working in the area this spring has now sent out the following information:

“We now have some very disturbing news that has recently been passed onto us. There currently are plans to reclaim the internationally important Nanpu mudflat that we are currently working on after the destruction of Beipu. This is the last site for the Red Knots and thousands of other Shorebirds as they have been pushed into the several km strip of mudflat with the rest of the Northern Bohai Bay reclaimed. If you have not done so already I urge all people to write to their ministers to try and halt not only this reclamation but all that is occurring in the Yellow Sea at an alarming speed despite China signing an agreement with Australia CAMBA agreement.”

While NZ does not have a formal link with China over migratory species as Australia does I would still urge members and interested parties to write to their ministers, the Ministers of Conservation, Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Environment to ensure they are aware of this development and how it will affect NZ’s second most common migratory wader.

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Knots in the Bohai