Nature or nurture?

Updated: 2012-03-13 15:20

(China Daily)

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Zhao Xinru, ornithologist from Beijing Normal University

This is a good thing. I think it reflects great progress that the villagers are protecting the Oriental White Storks, as poaching goes on in other areas.

It is dangerous for migrating birds to lack food, so it is necessary for them to get some assistance.

The villagers must provide the birds with suitable food and prevent potential secondary pollution during the storing and transporting the food.

It would be better if they set up several feeding places to avoid excessive centralization.

I suggest the villagers communicate with local government departments about wild animal protection and ask for their help and support.

Xie Yan, director of the China program for the Wildlife Conservation Society

The density of wild species is conditioned by the natural environment. It is inadvisable to feed wild animals.

There are problems: This might cause high-intensity of the species in certain areas and damage local resources; human diseases might be transmitted to the animals; and it may change the animals' habits.

I suggest experts do research in Zhangjiacun village to analyze why the storks are staying there and give the villagers instructions.

Zhou Haixiang, professor at Shenyang Institute of Technology in Liaoning province

I suggest the villagers don't feed the storks, even thought they have the best of intentions.

Human intervention might hinder them. When people do not take care of them someday, they will be unable to adapt to the natural conditions.

In recent years, we've noticed some migrating birds have chosen new sites that are north of their traditional habitats in winter. It is possible the storks are doing so.