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February 26, 2011

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Volunteers sought to take on bird hunters

WILDLIFE enthusiasts are being asked to join efforts to protect birds on Chongming Island from hunters.

The Chongming Wildlife Conservation and Management Center, which has fewer than 10 staff members, is recruiting volunteers to boost numbers.

At least 44 migrant birds were killed by hunters at the Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve early this month, officials said.

"We want to encourage more people to participate in the protection campaign," said Li Yongtao, deputy director of the center.

According to the recruitment statement issued yesterday, the center will recruit 20 volunteers aged between 18 and 45. Outdoor experience and professional knowledge are required and islanders are preferred.

The volunteers will be asked to tip off the center about illegal trade in wildlife and promote wildlife protection regulations among the public.

They will also be invited to work with the center team to crack down on illegal hunting.

Would-be volunteers are warned that the work is potentially dangerous and told not to get involved in conflict with hunters.

So far, expats are not being targeted for as volunteers, Li said.

In addition to the volunteers, the center also plans to recruit more members of staff.

Chongming is famous for its wetland and shore birds. Every year more than 3 million migratory birds from more than 200 species stop there. The Dongtan wetland is home to more than 120 species of birds.

Hunters have been netting and poisoning birds on the island and selling them to restaurants.


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