Cranes and people in China : culture, science, and conservation

dc.contributor.advisorDoughty, Robin W.en
dc.creatorGao, Yugongen
dc.date.accessioned2011-03-14T14:38:18Zen
dc.date.available2011-03-14T14:38:18Zen
dc.date.issued2001-12en
dc.descriptiontexten
dc.description.abstractCranes occupy a special place in the lives and history of the Chinese people, both as endangered birds and as symbols of longevity and happiness. Through mythology, religion, and artistic imagination, cranes acquired an elite, almost divine status among feathered creatures. This perception continues to color Chinese attitudes toward them. Scientific observation of the birds began in China in the mid-19th century through the efforts of European explorers and naturalists. The plight of cranes facing threat of extinction caught people’s attention only in the late 1970s. A new era of crane research and conservation dawned. In the following decade, propelled by a somewhat nationalistic desire to catch up with the West, plus a favorable internal and external political environment, we have seen the population figures of ix endangered cranes steadily increasing, along with the number of protected sites, or crane reserves, over 50 in mid 1990s. During the last 10 years or so, however, rapid economic development plus a lack of conscientious grassroots support have rendered the future of cranes in China all but uncertain. This research examines the historical documents and contemporary literature concerning the perception, knowledge, appreciation, utilization and protection of cranes in China. It is an effort to investigate and convey an understanding of the complex cultural phenomenon of people-bird relations. It is hoped that this work would, in Yi-Fu Tuan’s words, serve society “by raising its level of consciousness,” in search of a better future for both the culture and the birds, which not only co-exist with, but also extraordinarily enrich it.
dc.description.departmentGeography and the Environmenten
dc.format.mediumelectronicen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/10474en
dc.language.isoengen
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.rights.restrictionRestricteden
dc.subjectCranes (Birds)--Symbolic aspects--Chinaen
dc.subjectCranes (Birds)--Conservation--Chinaen
dc.titleCranes and people in China : culture, science, and conservationen
thesis.degree.departmentGeography and the Environmenten
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austinen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
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