Migratory birds damaging crops at lake
Updated: 2012-12-24 17:28
By Yang Yao (chinadaily.com.cn)
Winter migratory birds resting in East Dongting Lake have severely damaged crops in the area, Beijing Morning Post reported on Dec 24.
The wetlands around China's second-largest fresh water lake, East Dongting Lake in Central China's Hunan province, attracted around 150,000 birds from 2010 to 2011. However, the winter birds damaged large areas of crops near the lake in Junshan district of Yueyang city, the paper said.
Statistics from the local forestry bureau show that the birds damaged more than 8,600 hectares last year, with an estimated loss of 25 million yuan ($4 million).
Local official Chen Huasheng was quoted by the paper as saying that the government was in a dilemma: On one hand, the winter birds are protected by law; on the other, local residents have suffered a lot from the damage.
Song Aihua, vice-mayor of Yueyang city, was quoted saying that the local government would better protect the wetlands by growing more plants for the birds.
Deng Dongqi, director of the technology center of the district forestry bureau, was also quoted as saying that they planned to subsidize farmers for the damaged crops under agricultural insurance.