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Highway construction postponed for migratory birds in Xinjiang

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-14 11:27:04|Editor: Yurou


URUMQI, July 14 (Xinhua) — The construction of a highway in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been postponed to protect migratory birds.

In mid-June, workers found a large number of birds building nests and hatching in the cracks of the rocks laid on the roadbed of a section of Barkol-Hami highway. The birds Sturnus roseus, commonly known as rosy starling, are natural enemies of locusts. Xinjiang has set up nests in mountainous areas and grasslands to attract the birds to combat a destructive plague of locusts in recent years.

“A large number of starlings have settled in Hami thanks to artificial nests and related publicity activities. In most parts of the Hami grassland we can prevent locust plague without using pesticides,” said Li Zhanwu, head of the locust and rat plague control station in the city of Hami.

“We decided to suspend construction until the baby birds are hatched and leave the nests,” said Li Zhigang, one of the project managers.

The construction company also set up more than 20 warning signs in the site where birds are abundant. Construction of the postponed road section was scheduled to be completed in mid-July. But now it may be delayed by about one and a half months.

The 76.5-km Barkol-Hami Highway is an important transportation project in eastern Xinjiang.

Hong Kong customs seizes B1.56m worth of smuggled bird’s nest

The smuggled goods were seized at the Hong Kong port of the bridge on Tuesday. (Handout via South China Morning Post photo


Customs officers have seized HK$400,000 (1.56 million baht) worth of bird’s nest from a car at the border checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge port, the first smuggling case involving an outgoing vehicle detected at the site.

Officers intercepted the outgoing private car on Tuesday at the Hong Kong port of the multibillion-dollar bridge, which opened in October.

The Customs and Excise Department found 10 kilogrammes of the popular and precious delicacy in a spare tyre concealed in an altered structure underneath the rear of the SUV, which was about to cross the 55 kilometre mega bridge.

The male driver, 23, was arrested.

A department spokesman said it was the first time smuggling activities were detected in an outgoing private car stopped at the port since the bridge was launched.

An investigation was in progress.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of HK$2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

In April, customs seized 105kg of smuggled bird’s nest worth HK$3.5 million in an operation.

Officers stopped an outgoing private car at Shenzhen Bay

Officers stopped an outgoing private car at Shenzhen Bay border checkpoint, recovering 7kg of the delicacy. A further 79kg and 19kg were later seized at an industrial unit in Kwai Chung and a flat in Sham Shui Po. The male driver, 42, and a woman, 47, were arrested.

In the past 18 months, customs seized 1,112kg of smuggled bird’s nest in 14 cases.