[China] Sad news - illegal hunting in Shanghai 上海有人非法捕鳥

Sad news - illegal hunting in Shanghai 上海有人非法捕鳥


        I am writing to seek recommendations on what we may do against illegal hunting (birds) in Shanghai. Bin Hai is located at the south east coast of Shanghai and has an enclosed wetland area equivalent to about two football fields. The wetland has been a popular habitat for ducks and shorebirds during winter as well as migratory seasons. The bird population in Bin Hai does not meet the population in the two nature reserves nearby (Chongming Dongtan and Jiu Duan Sha), but due to the ease to access and poor management effort, Bin Hai has became a popular site for illegal hunting. Local bird watchers have been reporting about the use of mist nets and clap nets by illegal hunters but the authorities did little to stop illegal hunting in that area.

        We went to Bin Hai last Sunday at around 1pm and found at least 30 mist nets (2m x 10m) standing within the area. A hunter was found with more ten dead shorebirds in his hands and trying to sell them to his boss. Species seen on mist nets included red-necked stints, long-toed stints, greater sand plovers and sharp-tailed sandpipers. We called the authority immediately but got negative reply. They claimed that they already known the situation and have planned a complete break down of the illegal activities on Wednesday. We were extremely disappointed since hundreds of birds will be dead due to the delayed actions. Frankly speaking, we do not even know rather the local authority will take action or not, since the illegal hunting in that area has been reported for a couple of times already this month and obviously nothing has been done.

        Moreover, the local bird watchers tend to keep their mouth shut due to the close relationship between the shanghai bird watching society and the authority. The latter is the main source of financial support for the former to hold regular waterbird surveys and other related activities. Thus, the local bird watchers are not comfortable with pushing the authority too hard on the issue.

        I was shocked by the openness of the hunting activities (at least 30 mist nets, easily seen from the dyke, opened all-day…) and designed to seek advices to resolve the problems, any suggestion will be welcome.

Latest update is the authority were brought to the area today by local bird watchers, but their attitudes were far from encouraging and their actions did not match anything like ‘well-planned break down’ etc… Very disappointing.

Thank you,
Jimmy Choi


This is a very sad news, showing how much more education and protection of wild birds still need to be done in China.
As The Crow Flies- a Hong Kong Birding Blog


It is very distressing seeing birds caught in this way, and even worse when it is illegal.

I know that illegal trapping has bee monitoried on Chongming Island in the past. It may be worthwhile speaking to the researchers involved in that case about what action, if any was taken.

Could I suggest you continue to document the case by:

1. listing the numbers and species of birds caught,
2. the number and, if possible, the length of nets used,
3. the price that birds are being sold for
4. The number of people involved in the trapping
5. Any enforcement action that is taken

It is also helpful to try to find out the specific law under which activity these actions are illegal and quote them when corresponding with the appropriate enforcement authority.


Mike K
Mike KilburnVice Chairman, HKBWSChairman, Conservation Committee


My point of view on action on illegal bird catching

Hi Jimmy Choi,

I cannot agree in full on your comment that the SHWBS's inactive attitude towards illegal bird catchers; was due to  the close relationship between the shanghai bird watching society and the authority, and the financial support behind that.

Take the RTHK and BBC as an example, they are funded by the government money, but they stand on their own feet when they needed to make a position to speak out; could it be against those who financially funded them. I don't think the SHWBS can reached that "independence" at the moment, together with its "leaders" and members are voluntary in nature.

Being a ordinary member of the HKBWS and SHWBS, and now being residence of both Hongkong and Shanghai ( for some years), I see that more of a reason due to the individual personal attitude of the "leaders" of the SHWBS, and the general public ( including public officers ) understanding on laws and regulations in PRC.

As a ordinary members and bird watchers in Shanghai, I will join the upcoming Saturday event.

Cheers from Jimmy Ng / Shanghai