American zoos and wildlife officials have long held a dialogue with Chinese counterparts regarding giant panda conservation, but recently China inquired about endangered bird reintroduction efforts in the United States. As a part of the 10-day visit through California, Idaho and Wisconsin, four Chinese wildlife managers visited with Necedah National Wildlife Refuge staff to become acquainted with the tools and techniques used in releasing captive-raised birds successfully to the wild and Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius was there to welcome them today.

“I am pleased to welcome our Chinese colleagues through the Wildlife Without Borders program.” Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “Our biologists have much to be proud of regarding Necedah Refuge’s multiple reintroduction success stories and it is gratifying to share our experiences,” continued Melius.

During the daylong visit, refuge staff highlighted ongoing efforts to reestablish a viable whooping crane population, as well as other refuge biological success stories. Staff demonstrated telemetry and remote camera technologies, as well as habitat restoration efforts. The group saw the benefits of prescribed burning from a landscape level and had the opportunity to tour recent savanna and grassland restoration.

Cooperation for two-way exchanges such as this occurs under the auspices of the U.S.-Nature Conservation Protocol, signed in 1986 between the U.S. Department of the Interior and China’s State Forestry Administration, which oversees wildlife management.

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