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Dedicated actions taken in Jiangsu to protect wildlife
A staffer (left) from State Grid Suqian Power Supply Co in Jiangsu province distributes a pamphlet to a visitor on March 3 to observe the 11th World Wildlife Day, calling on local residents to "Love Birds, Protect Power Lines". [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

As the 11th World Wildlife Day falls on March 3 this year, residents in the prefecture-level city of Suqian in East China's Jiangsu province have observed it in a unique way.

Suqian, which administers three counties and two districts with some 5.85 million residents, is known for its vast spread of wetlands attracting millions of wildlife. In Sihong county alone, the Hongze Lake Wetland — spanning some 50,000 hectares — draws nearly 1 million migratory birds to breed and overwinter there every year, making it a "birds' paradise".

On March 3, the local branch of State Grid launched a "Love Birds, Protect Power Lines" campaign, sending its volunteers to visit communities and streets, calling on residents to take practical actions on caring for wildlife.

Though the birds can frolic freely in the wetland, they can also encounter bad weather, have insufficient food supply, or be susceptible to injury and illness, and in some extreme occasions, nest on towers of high-voltage power transmission lines, leading to short circuits, said Jia Renhai, a staffer from State Grid Suqian Power Supply Co.

Earlier in February this year, the Suqian Power Supply Co of the State Grid — the world's largest utility which shoulders a dual task of safeguarding the country's energy security as well as its economic lifeline — has established a "Protect Transmission Lines and Love Birds" volunteer team.

Through exhibition boards and by distributing pamphlets on March 3, Jia, part of the volunteers, and some of his colleagues explained to passersby the importance of protecting wildlife, especially birds, calling for a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

"We need to set a good example and promote the importance of wildlife protection to people around us in our daily lives and work. And we want to encourage more people to participate in our 'Love Birds, Protect Power Lines' initiative," said Jia.

During the event, the volunteers also distributed comic books to visitors, introducing useful ways of protecting power facilities and providing knowledge on electric power safety, enhancing public awareness of protecting power lines and birds.

Wang Shuo, a local resident who joined the event, said: "Through the introduction, I learned that the living environment of wildlife is closely related to us. Meanwhile, I also have a better understanding of how strengthening power protection has a positive impact on biodiversity."

He said he'll invite more people to join and support the "Love Birds, Protect Power Lines" initiative in the future.

In recent years, the State Grid Suqian Power Supply Co has actively helped boost local biodiversity and ecological protection, incorporating bird protection into the entire process of power grid construction.