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July 16, 2010

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Bulldozers beat birds but egrets will survive

RESIDENTS who watched as the peaceful life of egrets at a small wetland area in Songjiang District was ended by bulldozers have had their minds set at rest after learning the wetland is not the home for the birds.

Residents on Guangfulin Road complained that the developer of a new residential project had driven the egrets from their home since work started in May and were worried about where the egrets could settle down. They are also concerned how the birds classified under the second-class state protection could be effectively safeguarded.

But an official from the Shanghai Wildlife Protection Station said residents needn't worry about the egrets, as they didn't set up their nests on the wetland and could still find another feeding ground in Songjiang, where the ecological environment was improving.

"The small wetland is only a feeding ground for the egrets, which were probably attracted by the land's abundant resources," said an official, surnamed Yan. Yan said the egrets didn't settle down at the wetland but always set up nests in forests or in mountains.

"Egrets in Songjiang District usually build their nests on Sheshan Hill," said Yan. "Residents don't have to worry that the bulldozers will destroy their nests, as the egrets they often saw at the wetland probably came from a small forest nearby."

A resident surnamed Mo living on Guangfulin Road said he used to see dozens of egrets looking for food at dusk around the wetland, and he enjoyed the beautiful sight from his home.

But he said when he opened the windows yesterday, he saw bulldozers occupying the wetland instead of birds. He said the egrets dared not fly down to the ground, hovering in the sky.

"I feel so sorry for them as they seemed to have been driven away by humans," said Mo.


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