Bird genocide. How nature took revenge on the Chinese for sparrows
12 February 1958, Chinese leader Mao Zedong signed the decree about the destruction of all rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows.
The idea of launching a massive campaign, which became part of the political program “Big jump”, was born on 18 February 1957 at the next Congress of the Communist party of China. It was initiated by, oddly enough, the biologist Zhou Jian, who was at that time Deputy Minister of education of the country. He was convinced that mass destruction of sparrows and rats will lead to an unprecedented flourishing of agriculture. Supposedly, the Chinese can not overcome the famine because they “devour directly on the fields of voracious sparrows”. Zhou Jian convinced the members of the party that at the time, Frederick the Great allegedly carried out a similar campaign, and its results were very inspiring.
Mao Zedong especially never had to turn. His childhood he spent in the village and knew firsthand about the eternal confrontation of peasants and pests. The decree was signed them happily, and soon across the country Chinese with the slogan “long live Chairman Mao” rushed to destroy the order of the leader of small fauna. With flies, mosquitoes and rats somehow just went wrong. Rats are adapted for survival in all conditions up to a nuclear winter, would not be exterminated completely. Flies and mosquitoes and does not seem to be noticed, they declared war. “Scapegoats” were the sparrows.
At first the birds tried to poison and trap snares. But such methods were ineffective. Then the sparrows decided to “take down”. Seeing the birds, any Chinese they tried to scare, forcing as much as possible to stay in the air. The elderly, students, children, men, women, from morning to night waving rags, banging pans, shouting, whistling, forcing the distraught birds to flit from one Chinese to another. The method was effective. Sparrows just couldn’t stay in the air longer than 15 minutes. Exhausted, they fell to the ground, after which they were finished and stockpiled in a huge pile. It is clear that the pass was not only sparrows, but all the small birds in principle. To encourage the already enthusiastic Chinese press regularly published photographs of the heavy mountains of corpses of birds. The usual practice was to withdraw from lessons to pupils, give them a slingshot and send to shoot any small birds, destroy their nests. The most distinguished students were given certificates.
Only for the first three days of the campaign in Beijing and Shanghai have destroyed almost a million birds. And almost a year of such active action has lost two billion sparrows and other small birds. The Chinese were jubilant, celebrating the victory. About the rats, flies and mosquitoes at that time already nobody remembered. They gave up, because to deal with them extremely. To destroy sparrows was much more fun.
Special opponents this campaign, neither among the scholars nor among the environmentalists were not observed. It and is clear: the protest and objections, even the most timid would be perceived as antipartisan.
By the end of 1958 the birds in China is almost gone. The announcers on TV talked about this as an achievement of the country. The Chinese are choking on pride. Nobody doubted the correctness of the actions of the party and of its own.
Life and death sparrows
In 1959 in “buskila” China freak bumper crop. Even the skeptics, if any, were forced to admit that ativanonline measures have yielded positive results. Of course, everyone noticed that of all sorts of caterpillars, locusts, aphids and other pests increased considerably, but given the volume of harvest, it all seemed insignificant costs. To assess these costs fully, the Chinese were able after one year.
In 1960, the pests have multiplied to such an extent that for them it was difficult to see and understand what kind of crop they eat at the moment. The Chinese were confused. Now entire schools and production again took off work and school already in order to collect caterpillars. But all these measures were absolutely useless. Does not numerically regulated in a natural way (than just used to small birds), insects multiply at a frightening pace. They quickly devoured the whole harvest, and began the destruction of forests. Locusts and caterpillars feasted, and the country began a hunger. On television the Chinese were trying to “feed stories” that all these difficulties are temporary and things will get better soon. But promises will not be full. The famine was serious — people are massively dying.
Ate the leather stuff, the same locusts, and the others ate fellow citizens. The country began to panic.
Panicked and members of the party. According to conservative estimates, leaning on the country of famine in China killed about 30 million people. Then the guide finally remembered that all the troubles started with the annihilation of sparrows. Help China turned to the Soviet Union, and Canada requested to urgently send them birds. Soviet and canadian leaders, of course, surprised, but responded to the call. Sparrows were brought to China by the carloads. We have already started to feast on birds anywhere else in the world was not such a fodder as an incredible insect population, literally covering China. Since then, in China especially — reverent — attitude to sparrows.