The front page of the Strait Times from Xiamen today displays a picture of a rare bird, not in a terribly good condition, that suddenly appeared on the beach in Xiamen yesterday after not having been seen in the area for ten years. The bird in question is a red-footed booby, which is not critically endangered at present although its global population is decreasing and the bird is listed in the lowest category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Although only a short report on the front page of the newspaper today, the appearance of the pitiful boobies in Xiamen is indicative of a form of reporting often seen in Chinese newspapers that reflects on the sad consequences of environmental degradation in China and the search for dwindling members of some species.
A male and female pair was seen yesterday on the beach by a Mr Wang, who noticed that the birds’ plumage seemed faded. He also noticed that the birds hardly moved when people came near them, suggesting that the birds are not in a healthy state. Mr Wang described the sight of the two birds as “pitiful”.
The journalist forwarded a picture of one of the birds to a Xiamen bird watching society group on QQ, who informed him that such a bird had not been seen in Xiamen for around ten years.
Links and sources
Strait Herald (海峡导报): 近10年没见过你 你来了却“受伤”了