Environmental activists in China have got their claws into plans for a costly breeding centre for falcons in Xinjiang, sponsored by a Qatari organisation, mainland media reported today.
The US$15 million centre, which is still being built in Aletai, in the far-west of Xinjiang, is using funds provided by a Qatari ecological and bird conservation association.
News of the plans in Xinjiang has sparked heated debate on the mainland. Environmentalists and wildlife conservationists fear the breeding centre for saker falcons – seen as a status symbol for wealthy Arabs – will be run simply to meet the demand of hunters in the Middle East.
“We don’t want to build a hunting field for rich Qataris,” one Sina Weibo microblogger wrote.