Thu, Apr 10, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Marathon Taiwan bird-watching race has sights on teens

Staff writer, with CNA, TAIPEI

An upcoming international bird-watching competition in Taiwan’s mountainous central region aims to encourage the younger generation to spend time exploring nature, event organizers said.

This year’s Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area International Bird Race will reintroduce the teenage category that was dropped last year, due to increasing interest in bird watching among that demographic, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation said.

Youth attendance at previous editions was so low it made no sense to maintain the teen category, but the recent rise in the number of teens attending bird-watching events suggests that the category could be successful again, the federation said.

Its instincts appear to have been correct, as about 15 teenagers have registered for this year’s competition so far, compared with the single-digit numbers seen at previous events.

The young bird watchers will have to follow the same competition format as other contestants, which consists of identifying as many bird species in 24 hours as possible.

After the competition, a workshop will be held so young participants can share their bird-watching experiences and knowledge of birds, event promoter Chang Hui-li said.

“We want to find out how young people view bird watching,” she said, because that could help the race’s promotion.

The race will be held on April 25 and April 26 at the park in Hopin Township, Greater Taichung, home to at least 107 bird species.

Registration ends on April 20 and those interested in joining can visit www.bird.org.tw/das/sign_info/en_sign_info.html for more information.

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