Hebo Peng is a PhD in the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has conducted 12 years of shorebird research along the Chinese coast, including 9 years of studies covering the entire Chinese coast with shorebird and macrobenthic sampling. In addition, he is now involved in some research on the effects of environmental pollution on shorebirds.

Understanding the habitat quality and the threats encountered by birds during migration, and how they adapt to local environments, are among the most critical knowledge issues for bird conservation. Especially for shorebirds in East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), a flyway in which in-depth studies had a late start. We explored the use of tracking techniques to understand habitat selection and site utilization by shorebirds and to understand the patterns thus described, we surveyed shorebird food, the macrobenthos, at stopover and staging sites along the entire coast of China. By analysing the responses of shorebirds to habitat loss and degradation and human activity, we explored how birds adapt to the rapid and dramatic changes in habitats. We found that aquaculture practices had altered the biodiversity patterns and stability of mollusc communities throughout coastal China. The distribution of shorebirds was highly correlated to the distribution of aquaculture molluscs. Because migratory shorebirds rely on aquaculture molluscs for food, and the instability of food resources resulted in frequent food crises for the birds, which respond in terms of migration timing, energy reserve, and movements. Better understanding of the habitat quality of intertidal mudflats and rational management of aquaculture activities along China’s coasts, will provide sufficient help for the conservation of the shorebirds in EAAF.

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