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No more land farmland cultivation and house construction for humans, but preserved wetlands for birds. This is how Guangzhou's Nansha District has switched its focus from land reclamation to wetland preservation.

On the alluvial plan at the mouth of the Pearl River, Mother Nature has presented muddy shoals to humans. With these gifts from nature, humans built dykes and cofferdams and undertook land reclamation to build factories. But now they have gone back to the starting point, building mangroves and reeds for migratory birds, and creating sprawling wetlands for flourishing mangroves.

Li Zhongyang, a member of the post-90s generation, is an avid birdwatcher. After his first visit to the Nansha Wetland, he wrote: "Not long ago, local fishermen were still battling the guts and waves, but today the shoals at the mouth of the Pearl River host flocks of migratory birds. Unfolding before my eyes was a sprawling alluvial plain, a typical sight where rivers meet the sea. The greenness that extends to the horizon, the dense network of creeks at the estuary, and the massive stretches of rolling reeds and mangroves have become stopovers for migratory birds. Eulogizing the enchanting landscape are not only the fishermen who have inhabited this area for thousands of years, but wild birds which have sung over the sea for tens of thousands of years. They enjoy a leisurely and tranquil life here; they witness the changes and live in eternity. In their chirpings, they recount their history and future to humans."

The Nansha Wetland contains bird breeding, feeding and migration areas and a fish activity area. It's home to 141 species of birds, including the Eastern white stork, a national Class I protected rare bird; the black-faced spoonbill, black-eared kite, white-faced heron, common buzzard, black baza, Falco subbuteo, white-tailed harrier, lesser coucal, and greater coucal, as well as 16 species of provincial-class protected birds. Identifying birds by their chirpings is a craft that requires persistent practice at the Nansha Wetland. A poem read: "Visitors linger at the Nansha Wetland, oblivious to the sunset; darkness falls, and the birds begin jolly evening chanting."

>> Learn more about Nansha Wetland Park

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