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1 December 2008 The Declining Importance of the Fujian Coast, China, for Wintering Waterbirds
Lei Cao, Mark Barter, Richard Lewthwaite3
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East China is a very important wintering region for many migratory waterbirds, but many species have suffered large population declines over recent decades. However, the limited information available on the current and historical abundances of waterbirds in the region seriously limits our ability to assess the magnitude of these declines. The first comprehensive count of the complete Fujian coastline, conducted over a three-week period in February 2006, provided the opportunity to compare data from this count with historical information on waterbird abundances along the Fujian coast obtained during the second half of the 1800s and early-1990s. Our count total of nearly 110,000 birds of 65 species shows that the Fujian coast is still very important for waterbirds during the wintering period. We obtained abundance comparisons for 28 species of which 19 had declined greatly in the last 100-150 years; four of these are globally threatened. The Anatidae group, in particular, has suffered seriously in diversity and numbers during the last century and this finding is consistent with observed decreases in breeding numbers. Given population declines and the great importance of east China as a wintering area for waterbirds (including some globally threatened species), an important priority should be to determine the current status of the different species throughout the region. This information will be useful in proposing effective conservation measures including monitoring in east China.

Lei Cao, Mark Barter, and Richard Lewthwaite3 "The Declining Importance of the Fujian Coast, China, for Wintering Waterbirds," Waterbirds 31(4), 645-650, (1 December 2008).
Received: 28 August 2007; Accepted: 1 April 2008; Published: 1 December 2008

population decline
waterbird abundance
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