The Invisible Killer: Mist Nets At Chinese Airports

Birding Beijing 北京观鸟

Any eagle-eyed birder or nature-lover arriving in Beijing by air during daylight hours will be shocked to see lines of mist nets alongside the runway.  Entangled bodies of birds, bats and flying insects dangle pathetically in the breeze, lifeless after having suffered a horrible, prolonged death.  I remember the first time I visited China and, as my plane turned onto the runway and accelerated for take off for the return flight to London, I couldn’t help feeling sad that so many birds would die to allow me to travel in a machine that is essentially a poor imitation of nature’s perfect design.

2015-09-10 Siberian Rubythroat in illegal mist net Birds, bats and flying insects suffer a prolonged, terrible death in mist nets at China’s airports.  This photo of a Siberian Rubythroat caught in a typical mist net in China.

What puzzled me was that I hadn’t seen anything like this at airports in other countries..  There were questions in…

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