Bird-lovers protect white cranes through crowdfunding

Updated 2018-02-16 10:20:02 Xinhua

Zhou Haiyan is happy that up to 1,200 endangered white cranes, a third of the global population, spend winter in lotus root fields near Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake.

Zhou, a photography enthusiast, nearly missed the cranes this winter as local farmers at Nanchang Wuxing Farm planned to plant paddy rice to replace lotus root last spring to avoid damage caused by the cranes.

"If the farmers made it into reality, the cranes would lose an ideal foraging place," said the 46-year-old former TV host.

"Lotus root contains large amounts of starch, a favourite food of the cranes who strive to find food in the lake," said Dai Nianhua, a researcher with the Jiangxi Provincial Academy of Sciences.

Yet farmers regard the cranes as a threat as they will have no harvest next year if the cranes eat the lotus root under the water.

To help the cranes stay at the farm, Zhou, together with many bird-lovers, initiated an online crowdfunding campaign on WeChat, China's most popular social network, in March last year.

They collected 2.1 million yuan (3,959) from 100 donors, including overseas Chinese from the United States and Canada.

"We rented 498 mu (33 hectares) of lotus root fields and bought 75,000 kg of lotus root for the birds," Zhou said. "We also consolidated the farmland, built new roads and a water control system."

Before the cranes arrived in November, bird-lovers managed to build the country's first privately funded white crane protection zone that combines the functions of scientific research, education and photography.

"The white crane protection zone did not spend a single penny of the government's, but effectively protects the habitat," said Dai, adding that the government should give more policy and financial support to the crane protectors.

For Zhou, funding is still the biggest problem. They have only 180,000 yuan left in their coffers, far from enough to pay the rent and buy lotus root for next winter.

"We are seeking more funding," Zhou said. "We must keep this habitat so humans and cranes can interact closely."

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58May 25 2018 03:42:57

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16May 25 2018 03:42:57

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18May 25 2018 03:42:57

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords