The problem of the extinction of many rare species is becoming more and more serious in the recent years, so the governments of the world have established many nature reserves to protect these species. Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve is one of the most important wetland kinds of national nature reserves. Chongming is the world’s largest alluvial island which is formed by the mud and sand silt where the Yangtze River and East China Sea collide, is growing by about 80 to 110 meters annually as it stretches into the sea.
It is estimated to have an area of 326 square kilometres, of which 241. 55 square kilometres belong to the nature reserve. Chongming Dongtan provides good living conditions for varieties living things because of its unique natural environment. It is a collecting and distributing centre on the way of the birds’ migration. According to the record of Chongming Dongtan, a total of 265 species of birds have been observed at the wetland, 34 of which are protected by the Chinese government.
The most important role of Chongming Dongtan Bird Nature Reserve is to protect the birds and the natural environment that they depend for their survival. In 2002, the Dongtan Wetland joined the Convention on Wetland of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat – short for the Ramsar Convention – and was designated world Ramar Site 1144. As a Ramsar Site, it has made great contribution of the protection of those shorebirds.
I will introduce the details of pressures, problems and prospects about Chongming Dongtan Ramsar Site in the following parts. Chongming Dongtan has been a popular issued argued by the public and the government organizations. Section 2 The Chongming East End Nature Reserve for Wetlands and Birds is not only a national nature reserve in China, but also an internationally recognized Ramsar Site. There are quite a lot of strengths of Chongming Dongtan enable itself to become such a nature reserve with the international standards.
O It has rich soils and extensive estuarine wetlands which are abundant with fresh and saltwater marshes, tidal creeks and inter-tidal mudflats. These inter-tidal mudflats offer haven for a diversity of birds and fish along spawning or migration routes. O Its location is at the middle of the East Asian-Australian migratory shorebird flyway which is one of eight major bird migration routes in the world. The Dongtan Wetland is the birds’s first station when heading north and their last stop when flying back to Australia.
Millions of swans, geese, and shorebirds like the Dunlin, Great Knot and Whimbrels use Chongming as a destination for staging and wintering when they travel along Asia’s north-south migratory route from as far away as Alaska and New Zealand. O It is a quite primary habitat for those rare and endangered birds. According to the recent year’s records, there are four kinds of wild birds which are protected at the national first level and thirty five kinds of wild birds which are protected at the national secondary level.
In addition, there are twenty kinds of birds being listed in China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals. O It provides shorebirds food and haven during their back route. When flying home to the southern hemisphere, the birds have already bred and their journey takes them about 90 days. What’s more, after the first 5000 kilometers of their trip to Dongtan, the birds are in need of food and refreshment to restore their weight, up to 60 percent of which has been lost during 15 days of non-stop flying.
They live on grass seed, shells, snails and the tiny crabs found in Dongtan’s pools, reeds and shallows. O It has abundant of amphibians and retiles, invertebrate animal resources and those plants with high production such as reed and mat bulrush. All these resources provide the guarantee for the migratory and proliferation of the birds and fishes as well as for agriculture and fishery industry of the surrounding areas to develop production. Section 3 Chongming Dongtan has lots of merits to be the international nature reserve as the previous introduction.
However, there are still some weakness of this Ramsar Site declaration with respect to planning and management. a) The weak awareness of the wetland conservation and the imperfect regulations and laws Currently, the public recognization of the wetlands and their ecological functions are at different levels, which results in the weak protection awareness. Besides, the protection ability of the local institutions for these protected areas is very low because of its inadequate management.
At present, China has no special protection laws for wetlands, just some regulations which are divided into some relevant laws. This situation is absolutely unhelpful for the wetland protection. b) The inadequate funding and the management power can not meet the need of wetland ecological conservation. The special expenses of the protected management for the wetland conservation are seriously insufficient, so the quantity of the demonstration programs has to be cut down as well as their scales.
There is no relevant preferential policy for those model projects of national wetland conservation and ecological restoration. c) The prominent conflicts between the development of economic society and wetland protection With the rapid development of our national economy, the conflicts between the development area of economic society and wetland ecological conservation are becoming daily striking. For example, some people want to make this Ramsar Site as a tourist attraction for daily entertainment to increase the growth of the local region.
In my opinion, the balance machanism for it is to develop ecotourism, or the human activities will ruin this nature gem in the near future. Section 4 No matter how much strengths or weaknesses the Chongming East End Nature Reserve for Wetlands and Birds has, there is still left a large space for the human to take actions to enhance it. There are several advices on the further enhancement for the Ramsar Site in the following: O Chinese government wants to use Chongming as a national model for environmentally sustainable development. Chongming as a green island is very closely to Shanghai.
It is a good opportunity to use it for ecotourism and to increase environmental awareness. The government can popularize the importance of the protection of wildlife and wetland ecological environment through ecotourism. This method can make the public generally have the awareness to protect wildlife, and consciously take part in the ecological environment protection activities. O The protected area signs management agreement of protecting Dongtan birds resources with Chongming County to effectively protect wildlife in Chongming Dongtan together.
At the same time, the management department of conservation concludes and signs the community co-management agreement with towns beside the protected area and operational businesses in the protected area, which makes the wildlife protection work become a common task for the all community. O Chongming Dongtan is the core part of ecological sensitive area with the international significance. Both the Chinese and foreign ecologists can get the first hand information through science research and monitor. It is very important for them to get he key information at the first time, which will have a great impact on the future protection work. Therefore, Chongming Dongtan can be the research base for the national and international communication and cooperation of nature reserve for wetlands and biodiversity study. O The local management of this protected are can use zoning in Chongming Ramsar Site. Zoning is a method of rational use of resources to preserve genetic diversity, separate potentially conflicting activities and improve the relationship between human and environment. It can relieve the stress of the current threats and problems at certain degree.
Section 5 After the opportunities, there are always with some threats. If the government and the public want to preserve this Ramsar site which is full of precious resources, they must pay attention to the following issues. a) The enormous quantity of spartina alterniflora has a negative impact on the growth of scirpus moriqueter which are the main food resources the birds need. Spartina alterniflora is one kind of plant seen at every where in Dongtan, which is a kind of introduced species used to consolidate silt and increase land area.
However, its uncontrolled growth has threatened the survival of the birds and other living things in the Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve. It has encroached the growth space of grass and bulrush. The investigation indicated that the area of spartina alterniflora was 579 hectare in 2002 and it increased to 1112 hectare in 2003 and 1440 hectare in 2004. Under this trend of the growth of spartina alterniflora, other kinds of plants will be less and less. If we can not inhibit the growth of it, there will be less food resource to offer to the birds. This problem will probably change the destination for the migratory birds. ) Expect the threats from the natural plants, the ecological environment of the protected area is also influenced by the human’s activities, such as pasturing cattle, catching crabs and fishes. Fortunately, the relevant authority has declared that the management of the conservation will draft regulations and forms with them to readjust functional area and delimit particular region to pasturing cattle, catching crabs and fishes. c) Illegal hunting and fishing for commercial and recreational purposes. Many people cast greedy eyes on these precious birds which are living in the Ramsar Site.
Some of them want to catch them in order to get money, or even kill them just for their feather. This is a very serious problem the relevant authority should lay emphasis on. In addition, the authority and the management of the nature reserve should provide tangible regulations and corresponding punishment for those illegal activities. d) The excessive land reclamation reduces the natural wetlands and weakens the functions of wetlands. This is a serious problem for the area of this conservation. People always broaden their settlement area according their need while neglect the damage for the environment.
The less are the reserve is, the less animals will live in. Those migratory birds will give this place as their habitats and seek a new one to replace it. It is quite disadvantageous for Chongming Dongtan especially it as an international Ramsar Sit. Human beings will lose many precious species because those species hate the noise and pollution from humans. Section 6 From the previous detail introduction of Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, people can know much about it. No matter what kinds of strengthens, weaknesses, opportunities or threats it has, it must be protected by every one to preserve such a significant nature place.
Whether in the maintenance of regional ecological security, vulnerability to natural disasters, or in the development of fishery production, protection of aquatic resources, whether from the launch environmental education theme of ecotourism, improve the local economic structure and promoting economic development point of view, or from the reserve land resources in Shanghai, improve city services and enhance the overall image of the city’s point of view, Chongming Dongtan has a very important and irreplaceable value of the position.
Meanwhile, it is also an important fishery production base and research place for the estuary ecological system. Those reclamation wetlands in the sea wall are also the productivity base for the green agriculture and broad hinterland. Therefore, Dongtan is also increasingly become the focus of world attention. It provides an excellent opportunity for human beings to learn and appreciate more about nature and improve the awareness to environmental protection. Read more: http://essaybank. degree-essays. com/environment/problem-of-the-extinction-of-m