LinGang City and coastal wetlands – August 12th
Today’s blog is brought to you by Team Loon.
We began our day early today, meeting on our bus at 6:30AM to make the most of our bird watching trip. We travelled to LinGang City, which is a city that was built from “nothing.” The original plan for the city was to increase infrastructure; however even though the city is now built, no one is living there. It will probably remain empty until a “Light train” is built connecting the city to Shanghai.
The lake in LinGang is called “Ei Shui.” The city planners who constructed the area loaded thousands of freshwater fish into the water and unfortunately they could not survive the brackish water conditions. The lesson here is that in order to build a sustainable city, it is important that experts from multiple different sectors are consulted.
Bird watching was very exciting as we were lucky enough to see a number different species. The first bird our team spotted was a “Long-tailed Shrike.” This bird has a bill like a raptor but is actually a perching bird and the entire group is often nicknamed “The Butcher Birds” because they typically skewer their prey on spines of trees and shrubs. We also spotted many “egrets” which we believe catfish and aquatic invertebrates; we believe we saw a “Chinese Egret” because we recognized some yellow on its bill and feet. Besides birds we also saw two types of crabs and some mudskippers. We learnt that mudskippers are extremely adaptive creatures because they can survive in both fresh and seawater conditions. Along the coastal breakwater we saw a number of large fishing dip nets suspended from platforms, and even saw one of them in action.
We then travelled to the Nanhui Dohgfan Wildlife Sanctuary to walk along the boardwalk there and continue our bird watching adventures. We were given a special introduction to the site by Mr. Hu. We were very fortunate to experience the sanctuary as it is not normally open to the public. The sanctuary started in 2002 to help compensate for the massive habitat destruction which greatly impacted the migratory path for many birds flying to Australia.
We had special guests to lunch who were from the WWF and the conservation wetland center in Shuyuan Village. Local foods were served which included tea tree mushroom with eel, clam meatballs and jellyfish.
After lunch, we went to the Laboratory of Marine Fisheries Remote Sensing and GIS Technology in Shanghai Ocean University. A representative introduced what they goals and purpose of their laboratory was about. There is a cascade of computers that would quantify the data and make models about weather foresting, ocean current and fish migrating patterns. The data that are collected are about the surface temperature, chlorophyll, suspended particles. The approach is to have a rolling 5-10 day average for all parameters so that, if a cloud is obscuring satellite data collection there are no ” holes” in the data. These models are integrated into maps and then a conclusive picture is created for the use of management of high seas. Due to the high seas being international waters, the supervision of it is a collective effort from many countries to control fish stock and prevent overfishing.
The Chongming Island visit was cancelled due to the heat and humidity causing health concerns among the students so instead the rest of the afternoon was spent in the hotel until dinnertime where we went to a cafeteria style restaurant. Afterwards, we went to Fudan University where we had a guest lecturer Danqing Huang who talked about the work that the university does in Chongming Island and other wetlands. There were an additional three student seminars. Yi Zhang talked about bioremediation, Hu Yiyao discussed about the wetland and waterbirds in Dongtan wetland and Wang Junyan about impact of Shanghai economic development on the coastal environment.