China’s appetite for wild-bird meat has already pushed some species to near-extinction. In 2004, the yellow-breasted bunting, a small bird that migrates each year between northern Europe and Southeast Asia, was considered a “species of least concern” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). But prized in China for its fatty meat and supposed nutritional value, the bunting has been the target of rampant hunting. Since 1980, the global population has decreased by 90%, and in 2012 it was officially declared endangered by the IUCN, and hunting it was banned.
Beijing veterinarian Ren Pu recalled seeing more than 600 yellow-breasted buntings killed and sold when visiting a bird market in Tianjin over a decade ago.”Now there is less and less of this,” he said. “In the early 2000s, you could find all kinds of wild-bird meat in Beijing’s private clubs, including swan and even great bustard.” Known in China as the “flying pandas,” the great bustard is the world’s heaviest flying bird and a Class 1 protected animal in China.
The crazy Chinese eating habits …. add this to the list.