The tidelands of Isahaya Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture, were home to the largest number of migrant birds in Japan in 1996 — a year before a controversial reclamation project cut it off from the bay’s life-giving waters with a gate, the Environment Agency said Sept. 8.

For the first time since it started research in 1988, the agency has compiled a list of domestic wetlands that accommodate birds during their seasonal migrations in an attempt to designate key sites in need of protection.

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