Beijing forestry authorities on Wednesday set up 14 monitoring stations across the city to supervise migratory birds reaching here as a precaution against bird flu.
Beijing is located between the sub-tropical and sub-frigid zones and as many as 353 species of migrating birds fly over the city, according to officials with the Beijing Forestry Bureau.
The bureau said small groups of birds have entered the Beijing territory and the number and species are on rise. Over 1,000 wild ducks are settling at the Yeya Lake in suburb Yanqing District. It is expected that mass arrivals of birds will take place in the middle and end of March.
Monitoring staff will take daily records of birds' activities and report to higher authorities. If ill symptoms or deaths are spotted in the surveillance, local animal epidemic prevention and control authorities will be informed immediately to handle emergencies.
Staff will also give local people instructions about how to deal with and protect wild birds, according to bureau officials.
The Beijing forestry bureau has set up a special leading team of preventing bird flu from migratory birds. Staff members in mission have been trained in discerning bird species, field surveillance techniques and knowledge on bird flu.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2004)