A group of photography aficionados recently caught the media's attention. A group of mostly retired citizens have made a habit of waking up at 3 a.m. and heading to the Olympic Park to take pictures of birds. In recent years, Beijing's green coverage has reached 48.2 percent, with over 8,000 hectares of wetland created. The improved natural environment has encouraged a number of wild animals to make their home in the capital.
However, how urban residents live alongside wildlife requires professional guidance. Whether humans should feed birds has long been a controversial topic. Every year a number of black-headed gulls fly to Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province for the winter. Locals would feed them bread and local government also puts food in many spots to ensure the species survive the winter. But some have been heavily critical of this, stating that birds will adjust their natural habits and develop a reliance on humans rather than being self-sustaining.
How to avoid birds being injured by physical infrastructure is one of the more pressing questions for conservationists and policymakers. Only when and if these issues are resolved will humans and wildlife be able to live together peacefully and safely.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Beijing Youth Daily on November 26)