中文 |

Spring birding tours lift village in Yunnan out of poverty

By : InKunming | Published: 2019-03-14

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Common Green Magpie. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

[InKunming--YunnanThere is a folk saying in China called “do not shoot birds in spring”. However, in Shiti village, Yingjiang county, Yunnan Province, a group of people with their high-end cameras immerse in “bird shooting”.

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Rufous-headed Parrotbill. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

Jingpo people He Zhengzhong are busy these days. “The cub of grey peacock-pheasant was born. Please call me if anyone wants to take photos.” He upload a video on WeChat Moment, attracting dozens of bird photography enthusiasts.

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Bird photography enthusiasts are shooting birds. Photo provided by YingJiang County Publicity Department.

“ ‘Shooting birds’ (‘da niao’ in Chinese) is taking photos of birds with telephoto lens.” He Zhengzhong did not know this technical term before, but now he has been “bird guide” for more than 3 years, and is famous in bird watching circle.

Shiti village is located in Yunnan province, known as “China’s hornbill valley”. Over 400 kinds of birds have been found here, and some of them are unique to the village.

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Great Hornbill. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

“Now we have built 10 more bird ponds near the village to shooting birds in case of disturbing them.” He Zhengzhong explained. “These birds are attracted by the good ecological environment of the village.”

“I’m sure you will get excellent photos this time.” He led them to the bird watching point, and described the recent observed data of rare birds.

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Grey Peacock-Pheasant. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

Sun Xiaohong, a photographer from Beijing, is extremely fond of Shiti village. This time he come to shoot hornbills with his friends. “It is breeding season. Birds are more active because they are looking for mates and relationships.”

“Ten people came yesterday, and eleven more today. They all captured good photos.” He Zhengzhong is in charge of No. 2 bird pond, which earns more than 1,000 yuan in just two days at the price of 60 yuan for each person.

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White-crested Laughingthrush. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

Shiti village is a poor-stricken place where Jingpo nationality and Lisu nationality live a hard life. In the past, villagers consciously devoted themselves to ecological protection and got the benefit of it.

In order to develop the “bird shooting economy” and lift the villagers out of poverty, a series of services has been executed, including catering, accommodation and guidance, according to the leader of villagers, Pai Zhonghua.

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Mountain Hawk-eagle. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

Bird watching enthusiasts spend days in the village trying to get the best photos. They have become a source of income for the villagers.

In addition to earning money, the villagers also take the responsibility of bird care. He Zhengzhong recalled that they insist on feeding birds every day even in raining season.

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Grey Peacock-Pheasant. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

“During the peak season, the birds bring revenue for us. Fowling is banned here.” He said. Bird hunting and poaching are forbidden, effectively protecting the existing animal and plant resources. 

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White-headed Shrike Babbler. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

More than 40 bird monitoring stations have been set up in the village, receiving over 20,000 bird watchers. The per capital income of villagers has increased from 2,000 yuan to 8,000 yuan.

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Red-billed Scimitar Babbler. Photo provided by Ban Dingying, the president of Yingjiang Bird Watching Association.

Pai Zhonghua introduced, the county’s ecology is already good, but villagers have replanted some fruit trees and flowers favored by hornbills to provide a livable environment. Shiti village has also set a forest protection team to carry out regular patrol.

In the distance, the grey peacock-pheasant with its cub appears on camera. “If the ecological environment could be protected well, our income can become more as they lay eggs more. ” He Zhengzhong said confidently.

Click here to view Chinese report

(Editors: Christine, Rachel)





















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