GUANGZHOU, Oct. 20, Xinhua - Police authorities in south China's Guangdong Province disposed of some 60,000 wild bird bodies on Monday, after launching a crackdown on illegal wildlife trading last month.

The dead bodies, including sparrows under state or provincial protection, were incinerated at the Guangdong Wildlife Rescue Center on Monday afternoon.

The province began a three-month clampdown on illegal wildlife trading in mid-September. Police have inspected 620 antique stores, as well as flower and bird markets, and have seized 180,000 wild animals and 2,387 wildlife products worth more than 18 million yuan (2.94 million U.S. dollars), according to Guangdong's provincial forest public security bureau.

Zou Fasheng, an expert with the China Zoological Society, said that the recent raids not only struck fear into illegal traders but also raised public awareness of wildlife protection.

"Government efforts coupled with public supervision will effectively contribute to the cause," Zou said.