From Pest to Meal: A Leap Forward?

Once considered a pest by the Chinese government, sparrows have now been placed on the endangered species list. The reason: China’s widespread use of pesticides – some of which are banned in many countries – have killed many of the sparrows; in other instances, the sparrows are grilled and eaten as a snack the Chinese prize. The dwindling numbers of sparrows marks the possibility of far greater environmental change. Larger birds may soon near extinction due to the over-reliance on pesticides in China’s agricultural economy. Meanwhile, environmental protection agencies focus solely on industrial pollution. And forestry agencies, meant to protect the wildlife, have not yet refocused on sparrows, which are still seen as food by most Chinese. To prevent the extinction of the sparrows, China must work from two angles: reducing harmful pesticides, and changing eating habits. – YaleGlobal

From Pest to Meal: A Leap Forward?

Chris Buckley
Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Click here for the original article on The New York Times website.

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company

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