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A Talk on the Wild Side.

U.S., China Share Best Practices for Wetlands Management

Exchange at Ding Darling
Visitor Damon Yeh shared these photos.

Because of China’s large population, it faces many challenges for managing its water resources to restore natural habitats and mitigate damages from floods and landslides. So last month, we hosted a group of Chinese wetlands officials touring protected areas in southern Florida. The goal for this trip was to learn about wetlands restoration, monitoring and management in the United States and provide new ideas for the Chinese on how to manage wetlands in their home country.

alligator

The delegation learned how complex wetlands management in Florida is and how many different stakeholders are involved. Working with diverse interest groups is a challenge in both countries, but it is vital. Delegates were also very interested in our education and outreach efforts and hope to implement some of our practices in their protected areas. Both Chinese and U.S. officials agree that educating the public is a critical step in developing effective management practices.

Over the eight-day period, the delegation visited Everglades National Park, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Picayune Strand State Forest, Florida Panther Refuge, 10,000 Islands Refuge and Big Cypress National Preserve. These public lands are home to countless birds, alligators, manatees, dolphins and many other species. A few of the delegates were lucky enough to see a black bear and its cub.

Bird

The Fish and Wildlife Service and China’s State Forestry Administration have conducted many exchanges over the years covering a wide variety of thematic areas. These exchanges are to share best practices and build a mutual understanding of conservation within these two countries. For more information see: http://www.fws.gov/international/wildlife-without-borders/east-asia/us-china-nature-conservation-protocol.html

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