Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 28, Issue 14, pp 3787–3801 | Cite as

Conservation planning following reclamation of intertidal areas throughout the Yellow and Bohai Seas, China

  • Houlang Duan
  • Shaoxia Xia
  • Xiyong Hou
  • Yu Liu
  • Xiubo YuEmail author
Original Paper


Tidal flats throughout the Yellow and Bohai Seas provide essential habitat for migrating shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Land reclamation threatens this habitat. Using bird-sighting data and environmental variables, we identify areas appropriate for prioritized protection for 46 shorebird species, using a MaxEnt species distribution model and Zonation protection planning software. We also assess changes in habitat status and conservation importance of tidal flats along the Rudong and Dongtai coasts, Jiangsu Province, a significant shorebird biodiversity area recently inscribed as a World Heritage site. A priority area of 4523 km2, containing more saltpan and aquaculture areas than tidal flats, and more than 90% of all tidal flat areas in the priority area, is identified, of which only 12.05% is currently protected within existing National Nature Reserves. Tidal flats along the Rudong and Dongtai coasts have decreased in area from 2000 to 2015, and particularly from 2010 to 2015 at a rate nine times that for 2000–2010. An irreplaceability index for coastal habitat for Xiaoyangkou, Rudong county, increased from 2012 to 2015, signaling a need for urgent habitat management and protection, such as afforded by establishing new nature reserves. Effective management and restoration of saltpan and aquaculture habitat in Bohai and Laizhou bays is also necessary.


Shorebirds Migration Conservation China MaxEnt Zonation 



This research was jointly supported by Earth big data Scientific Engineering project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA19020305), Science and Technology Service Network Initiative (STS) Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No: KFJ-STS-ZDTP-023), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701212), and Developing China’s Coastal WaterBirds and Habitats Database Project which is funded by The Paulson Institute and The Lao Niu Foundation.We thank the Bird Watching Network website and the China Coastal Waterbird Census Team for providing data collection support.

Author contribution

XY planned and designed the research; HD, SX, XH and Y L collected data; HD analyzed data and wrote the manuscript; XY and SX revised the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10531_2019_1851_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3338 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Houlang Duan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shaoxia Xia
    • 1
  • Xiyong Hou
    • 3
  • Yu Liu
    • 1
  • Xiubo Yu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesYantaiChina

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