“I’ll devote my whole life to protecting black-necked cranes. They and my wife are like the two wings of my life. Without any one of them, I won’t fly high, ” Wang Zhaorong, one of the founders of the Zhaotong Volunteers Association for Protecting Black-neck Cranes(ZVAPBC), said frankly during a recent interview with our reporters.
Since the association was set up in 1998, Wang has voluntarily spent over 9,000 hours protecting black-necked cranes. However, his story with the birds dates back to 1994.
The story was about love. In 1994, Wang traveled more than 100 kilometers to Dashanbao of Zhaotong where his girlfriend worked as a doctor and the black-necked cranes wintered. In those days, the cranes flying overhead always drew the attention of the two lovers with their calls.
It might be the fate that brought Wang and the cranes closer. In early 1998, Wang was appointed as the assistant to the head of Dashanbao Township government. Later on, he met Mr. Sun Dehui, an eco-photographer who had committed himself to the protection of black-necked cranes for years. “Sun was just like a teacher. I learned from him knowledge about the cranes and their harsh living conditions. I was moved by his devotions and decided to join hands with him to protect the birds,” said Wang.
They visited surrounding towns, villages and schools and told local people the significance of protecting black-necked cranes. “Many children knew that the cranes were under national first-class protection because of our efforts,” he said proudly.
To pool more efforts and wisdoms to protect the birds, Sun initiated the set-up of a non-governmental organization. And in December 1998, the ZVAPBC was founded. In 22 years, the number of its members has grown to 510. They are civil servants, teachers, journalists, authors, students, farmers and businesspeople.
In January 2003, Dashanbao was listed as a national nature reserve by the State Council. Each year, more than 1,400 black-necked cranes winter there, along with more than ten thousand birds of other species like bar-headed geese, mallards, ruddy shelducks and pochards.
We have only one earth where the grass, trees, birds and beasts live freely in nature. And they the hosts of the earth like our human beings. Thus, protecting wild animals is protecting ourselves,” Wang believed the nature will repay human beings for our protection efforts. (Zu Hongbing)
Southwest China’s Yunnan Province is rich in biodiversity. Dubbed “Kingdom of Animals” and “Kingdom of Plants”, the province is one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots with the richest species diversity. Its unique geological environment and rich germplasm resource provides wild animals with broad and diverse living conditions. History has also witnessed a harmonious co-existence between its 26 ethnic groups and wild animals, laying a solid foundation for the green development on this land. In recent years, Yunnan has made consistent efforts in protecting wild animals and their living environment. It has greatly improved the nature reserve system. And the idea of green development has deeply rooted in the heart of the people living in the province.