Demand for the beautiful plumes of the Chinese egret threatened to drive this species to extinction before the end of the 19th Century, although this has been refuted by some authorities. Declines continued into the last century, due to habitat loss and degradation following conversion of tidal flats and estuaries to areas for aquaculture, agriculture and industry. In China, it is disturbed by egg collectors and photographers and breeding success is consequently reduced. In particular, disturbance by photographers in the 1990s caused a colony in South Korea to suffer startling declines (2).
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