Storks find new homes thanks to State Grid project

By Chen Liang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-15 09:13
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Two members of State Grid's Yangzhou power supply branch's bird conservation team build an artificial nest for Oriental white storks on a transmission tower in Gaoyou. CHINA DAILY

Transmission tower nests part of solution

Its extensive wetlands, including lakes, marshlands and ponds, make Gaoyou in East China's Jiangsu province an important wintering and breeding ground for the Oriental white stork, a large migratory bird under first-level State protection.

At the end of May, more than 300 Oriental white storks were counted in Gaoyou, a county-level city in Yangzhou. While more than 100 soon left for their breeding grounds in Northeast China and Russia — only returning this autumn — nearly 200 have chosen to settle in Gaoyou year-round, partly thanks to a power supplier's conservation efforts.

"Some storks found that our power transmission towers could be perfect places for them to build their homes," said Wang Wei, the leader of a volunteer bird conservation team with State Grid's Yangzhou power supply branch and a maintenance worker at its Gaoyou subbranch.

The "Bird Guardian Grid" is a public welfare project initiated by the State Grid Public Welfare Foundation in collaboration with the corporation's provincial power companies and affiliated units, he said. "It aims to protect endangered birds such as the Oriental white stork and crested ibis along the corporation's power transmission lines.

"Because of the distribution of the Oriental white storks in Gaoyou, our company has become a dedicated participant in the project. Many of my fellow workers have become ardent bird protectors."

In early June, construction workers discovered three newly hatched Oriental white stork chicks on an electricity tower in Gaoyou while preparing to install power lines on the company's Jiangteng Line.

The sight of the hungry baby birds both excited and worried Luo Peng, the manager of the line construction project, because the Jiangteng Line was an important power project being built in coordination with the construction of the Beiyangjiang High-Speed Railway, and it had to be completed on time.

He immediately contacted Wang and his team.

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