Reading about the environment can sometimes seem like a depressing litany of fading species, increased development, and a warming planet. But there are reasons to be hopeful. As we approach the new year, here are 12 conservation wins we saw in 2018. Rudong mudflats, Jiangsu Province, a crucial site for shorebird species © Richard Allen January – China Halts Coastal Land Reclamation 2018 began with an unexpected bang: in January, China announced it was to halt all ‘business-related’ land reclamation along its coast. The change meant China would nationalize any coastal land that had not yet been built on, and would stop approving development plans unless they were key to national infrastructure, public welfare, or defence. The policy change, if consistently implemented, is incredibly good news for globally threatened coastal birds such as the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (Critically Endangered) and Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris (Endangered), both of which rest along China’s coasts during migration. February – New breeding ground for White-winged Flufftail The White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi is an incredibly elusive and rare bird; we estimate there are between 50 and 250 individuals left in the wild. Previously thought to only breed in Ethiopia, a new video technology […]

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