When talking about sustainable and responsible tourism, it is common to hear about ecotourism. Indeed, taking into account ecological and environmental aspects and maintaining it for the next generations, are the beginning of a positive spiral in the development of a touristic activity.
Birdwatching is an activity linked to ecotourism and we need to know what is behind it. Indeed the word ecotourism has the specificity to be difficult to define and many professionals of tourism use it for activities and philosophy which are very often different.
As we are not very familiar with the activity and practice it only as amateurs, it is a great opportunity to meet Robbi Zhu ; birdwatcher and guide for BirdTour in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
Got in touch thanks to Peng Luo from EcoActionNow in Beijing (travel agency specialized in ecotourism and made on request travel in china), it was time for us to know more about the activity and understand how Birdwatching contribute in making better tourism.
Sichuan Province is a treasure for Birdwatching. From the plains in Chengdu to the high mountains at the border to Tibet without forgetting Yangtze river, the landscapes are very diversified. Fauna & Flora are rich and a lot of species are endemic from this west region of China.
Robbi, as a lot of kids, fell in love with animals in his childhood… It led him to ornithology studies in the university of Chengdu and then to Birdwatching. Globally this passion made him a strong defender of animal and birds especially.
Guide in Sichuan but also in Tibet sometimes, Robbi shared with us his job and passion. He knew how to replace this activity in its context with simple words. Observe a bird is finally the consequence of a whole work, a whole process. Observe a bird (and especially the rarest ones) requires to know the species and their naturel habitat. It actually means long long walk in order to meet the habitat which is favorable to meet the animals.
For the tourist, it is a perfect opportunity to discover the region, the mountains, lakes and rivers… Thanks to the support of an expert as Robbi, it is the best way to understand the details of what makes suitable the habitat for the animal.
Birdwatching is an activity which requires a lot of patience but for sure will delight nature lovers, the ones that wander about the environment they live in and on which they have a daily impact.
What especially took our attention with Robbi is the power of Birdwatching for the society… Bird presence/over-presence or in the opposite the absence/extinction of a species in its naturel habitat is a key indicator of the modification of the environment (air and water quality, forest state, predators/food, etc): the one impacted by our society.
So, are you also interested in meeting the birds in their environment and understand that everything is linked?