Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (5): 912-922.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201905006

• Climate Change and Surface Processes • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of climate change on birdwatching tourism in China:Based on the perspective of bird phenology

LIU Jun,HUANG Li,SUN Xiaoqian,LI Ningxin,ZHANG Hengjin   

  1. Tourism School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
  • Received:2018-04-16 Revised:2019-01-23 Online:2019-05-25 Published:2019-05-24
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771163)


Tens of millions of people each year now engage in birdwatching activities and birdwatching tourism has become an important part of the world wildlife watching industry. Climate change has changed the phenology and distribution of birds, which will affect not only birdwatchers' tourism activities but also the livelihoods of the stakeholders in birdwatching tourism. Monitoring and identifying these effects as early as possible and encouraging stakeholders to implement effective adaptive strategies is of great significance. Climate change has adverse effects on many sectors; however, the extent of its effects on birdwatching tourism is relatively unknown. Therefore, in the present study, the relationship of phenophases-climate change indicators - with variations in the activity timing and habitat pattern of birds was assessed. These are two important aspects that can be exploited for the development of birdwatching tourism. In this milieu, a meta-analysis was conducted using ornithological research data for 98 phenological series (1980-2010) from 26 regions in China. Changes in the departure and arrival times, stay duration, and habitat pattern of birds in China were recorded. The departure and arrival of birds were determined to have advanced in spring and summer but to be delayed during autumn. In general, the stay duration of birds has increased. Furthermore, increase in temperature has resulted in longer stays, thus favouring the development of birdwatching tourism; stay duration is particularly long in the low-latitude areas and western region of China. Their habitats have shifted northward and westward. When birds migrate to places not previously used as habitats, these places become more attractive for tourism because of the presence of these new birds. Conversely, if the birds no longer migrate to places where they were previously observed, these places might lose their attractiveness in this regard. The effect of changes in the activity timing and habitat pattern of birds on the birdwatching tourism has already been perceived by tourists and working staff in scenic areas.

Key words: birdwatching tourism, climate change, meta-analysis, bird, phenophases, China