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Chinese Egret

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago
The Chinese Egret

Description and Rationale


The Chinese Egret, Egretta Eulophotes, is a bird that is a white color and has a long neck and long legs. This bird is a wading bird; this means that they feed in shallow water by walking in the water then catching the food. This bird has been flying through the Philippines for several years. However, since all the new buildings have been coming up their wetlands and marshes have been dried up and destroyed. When their wetlands were destroyed the birds had little place to feed or mate. Because of all this destruction their population has plummeted and now there is only about 2,500 birds left in the whole world. The bird is now on the endangered list of animals and if no action is taken then soon this bird will be extinct.



How can we find a way to help the Egrets survive without causing problems to people? What can be done to ensure that the Egret will continue to come to the Philippines? The bird is a rare beautiful bird that could be used to attract tourists and bird watchers from all over the world. Could there be a bird sanctuary put up by the government so that they birds could survive and the government would make a profit? The bird needs no human help for food the main thing that the bird needs is land to feed on and breed. The Government could set apart a part of land that all birds could come to feed at. This would not only help the Egret but other birds as well.



The purpose of this project will be to help find a way to ensure the survival of the Chinese Egret. This will be done by researching the birds exact migratory path and finding ways to help make their journey easier. Also hopefully finding a place where the birds can rest and stay in there long journeys.




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Common Names and Synonyms

 Egretta euophotes is commonly known as the Chinese egret. Sometimes it is also called the Swinhoe's Egret. Some other names for the egret are aigrette from Old French, from Old Provençal aigreta, from aigron, heron, of Germanic origin. In the Philippines it is known as the Tagak.                      







The Chinese egret is an egret. This bird is very similar to all other egrets. Most egrets are white and not very large. The main differences between egrets are their beaks, where they live, and what they eat.






Chordate (vertebrate)




Aves (birds)




Ciconiiformes (wading birds)








Egretta (new world herons)




E. eulophotes (chineses egret)


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Morphology and Physical Description

The Chinese egret is a full-crested, white egret with yellow bill. Breeding adults have blue facial skin, shortest, shaggy nape plumes, long back and breast plumes, blackish legs and greenish-yellow feet. They can grow up to about 68cm high.





The Chinese egret is also a non-breeding visitor to Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular and eastern Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia(Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi) and Brunei. The Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Bohol and Cebu), Philippines, appears to be the key wintering area. This means that during the winter there are the main places that the birds fly to stay. Although they do not breed there they do eat and live there for several months.



The Chinese egret lives and raises its young in shallow tidal estuaries, mudflats and bays, occasionally visiting paddy-fields and fishponds. Since 1985, all breeding records have been from offshore islands.




Getting Food

 The Chinese egret eats sea grass and other shrubs that grow in shallow water. They will also eat shrimp and other small animals and small fish that live in wetlands. They catch these animals by very quickly dunking there long beaks under the water and grabbing the animal. They sometimes (very rarely has been seen) eat small insects like flies and mosquitoes. These birds don’t have an actual time when they stop to eat. As they are flying and there is a marsh of a place where they can catch food they will stop and eat.  


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The Chinese egret breeds in Russia, North Korea, South Korea and mainland China. It formerly bred in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but is now only a non-breeding visitor or passage migrant. In the Philippines alone over half of the wetlands that the birds use to nest in have been destroyed. Now there population has stopped decreasing but it is still not increasing. Breeding occurs in shallow tidal estuaries, mudflats and bays, occasionally visiting paddy-fields and fishponds. Since 1985, all breeding records have been from offshore islands.


Environmental Factors

The Chinese egret is a peaceful migratory bird they do not harm any humans. Every year these birds fly from China and Japan down through the Philippines to warmer places like Australia and Indonesia. Their regular time to fly through the Philippines is between October and January. Then they return between April and June. However, because of the expansion of cities and farms many of the wetlands that these birds live in are being destroyed. There has been no recorded disease or flues that have been caused by these birds. They only help by reducing the population of mosquitoes and flies.   



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Origin and Distribution

The Chinese egret breeds in North Korea, South Korea, and Indonesia. It formerly bred in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but is now only a non-breeding visitor or passage migrant. The bird use to breed in many more places all over Asia. However, now because of all the loss of wetlands the bird has stopped breeding in many places.



Importance to People

In 2002 China realized that the wetlands and other environments were being destroyed because of the growing population and global warming. So they immediately started to come up with ways that they could preserve these natural habitats. Some of their ideas were establish new nature reserves, including 10 national level nature reserves with an area of 822.9 km2. (Han Yongrong, Water Resources Department of Qinghai Province), and formulate and implement policy and regulations on management of nature reserves.  Wetlands International was created in October 1995 this is a program that helps preserve wetlands all over the world.  In Indonesia, Wetlands International has operated since the early 1980s under the Cooperative arrangement with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. During our last 20 years they have helped preserve lots of wetland all over Indonesia.


On, 03 June 2006 at the University of Rizal System campus in Tanay, Rizal there was a meeting and some of the students decided to work along with Clear Youth and went to clean up and replant along Laguna de Bay. This picture shows some of the trach heaps that they helped clean up.





Survivability and Endangered Status

Because of the losses of lands the birds are endangered. Nowadays there is between 2,600-3,400 birds left worldwide this puts them in the vulnerable category. They are not the most endangered birds in the world but they are in the top 50 most endangered birds in the world.




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Potential Solutions

 The Chinese Egret is a migratory bird to the Philippines. Over the many years that it has been coming here its numbers have slowly decreased. Over the last few decades the bird’s numbers have dropped dramatically and now there is only about 2,800 birds left in the whole world. There population decreased because of their habitats, the wetlands, is being destroyed. It seems that if people don’t start taking action this bird and many other species could soon become extinct. There are three main ways that people could help insure the survival of this bird and many more animals. Along with each possibility are the advantages and disadvantages.

Possibility 1

All over the world people are realizing that the wetlands, that once covered the Philippines, are now slowly disappearing. Even though some people are aware of it they do nothing to help. They still dump their trash where they are not suppose to, they still don’t recycle, and they still drain water from the wetlands witch destroys the whole ecosystem. However, there are some people who are really concerned and they are doing everything they can to preserve the wetlands. We should help and support these people because without them the wetlands will not stand a chance and many magnificent animals will die.    






1.       By preserving the wetlands the Philippines could have a tourist attraction and make a lot of money off tourism. People would pay a lot of money to be able to see endangered species and animals that they had never seen before. By having this attraction the wetlands would grow undisturbed and many animals that have left the Philippines might return.



2.      Also by having the wetlands preserver it would greatly help the animals and trees fighting to survive. And because of the wetlands the Philippines wouls have a greater biodiversity.




3.      Another thing that the wetlands would do is help get rid of some of that smoke and smog in the cities. Plants use CO2 for photosynthesis so by having plants there will be less carbon dioxide and more oxygen in the air so it is healthier for humans.



4.      We are preserving God’s creation. God made the earth and he said that it was good he made it so that it would be different so we should protect God’s creation.






Although this project will greatly help the country in many ways there are some bad things that go with it.



1.      The main problem with conserving wetlands is that all construction plans for that place and the area around it will have to be stopped. The Philippines population is growing so the people are spreading out more and more. However, if there are marshes and animals then you can’t build buildings.


2.      Another problem is the cost of employing people to be tour guides and people to drive busses around and have rest stops. This will cost a fairly large amount of money. But after the attraction gets started they should be able to make the money back no problem.




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Possibility 2   Capture and Breed in Captivity






If the bird is so close to being extinct then why not just capture them and breed them in captivity? This would be an easy solution to the problem.






1.      By breading in captivity the bird will surely survive.



2.      By keeping them in captivity then the bird would not be hunted or shot at.



3.      The children of the birds could be re-released in to the world so that over time the birds would be able to survive by themselves.



4.      By saving these birds we are preserving the magnificent creation of God so we should ensure that all his creation survives. We are suppose to be stewards of earth so we should take care of it.






1.      It would take a lot of time, effort, and money to capture the birds and to build a suitable habitat for them.



2.      By keeping the birds in cages for humans to see and take care of then the birds might become costume to seeing people and being fed by them. This would be a problem because if the birds were released they would be use to being fed by humans and they might settle near people and they could become pests over time.  




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Possibility 3



Possibility 3 Educate the People



            Often people do things because they do not know what effects they will have. If educate the people and tell them of how they are killing these birds then they will realize what they are doing is wrong and they need to change what they are doing. Because there are many Filipino children who have very little or no education when they grow up they will not know what to do. So I am making a small book that will teach them about the Chinese Egret and how they can help save it.  






1.      The Filipino people will realize how they can help the bird survive then they will try to do better to ensure that the Chinese Egret and many other endangered species will survive.



2.      The people would learn how simple thing like how recycling helps and why they should not burn there waste but turn it into compost heaps. By these simple steps lots of animals will be saved.



3.      We as Christians believe that all were created equal so as equals we should all have the right to learn and to have knowledge, so by teaching these kids about something simple we are showing them God’s love.






1.      There is no real disadvantage of this except if the people do not listen then it is a waste of time.

Action Step


My action step was to educate people about the Chinese Egret and how they can save it.


            I made a very simple book that can show kids how they can do small things at home to help save this bird and many other endangered species. Then after I made the book I printed ten copies and went and handed them out to Filipino kids that I met on the street. I gave them extra so that if any of their friends were curious and wanted a book they could have one. Although this was just a small step if others do simple things like this and the kids teach their friends and relatives then over time this will have an effect on the environment and could help save the Chinese Egret.




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“Chinese Egret.”  Wikidepia.org.    13 April 2007



“Chinese Egret.”   Birdlife.org.     April 2007



Binliang Shuihuachen Zhongdewang. “Nest Selection of Chinese Egret (egretta Eulophotes) in Wuzhishan Archi-pelago, Zhejiang    April 24 2007





“Migratory birds—Chinese Egret.”  Birdkorea.org   13-27 April





“Egretta eulophotes”  arkive.org    All April





“Chinese Egret”  Answers.com     15April





“Egretta eulophotes”    rbd.or     April, May 





Blackwell Synergy.com   25 March






Chinese Academy of science   e-mail interview





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