Hunting protected Formosan barking deer (羌), Formosan serow (長鬃山羊) and Formosan sambar (水鹿) will be allowed from tomorrow until Dec. 24 this year as part of a research project to find new ways of managing the habitats of wild animals without compromising Aboriginal people's traditional culture, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.
The council's Forestry Bureau said that the trial hunting project would be open only to Bunun Aboriginals (
"However, the number of animals hunters are allowed to shoot has been strictly limited. Hunting 200 Formosan barking deer, 50 Formosan serow and 10 Formosan sambar in the trial will not have a negative impact on their populations," said Fang Kuo-yun (
Since Taiwan's National Park Law (
However, to not compromise Aboriginal culture, the Wild Animal Protection Law has been revised to make hunting protected wild animals acceptable for the sake of traditional festivities. Nonetheless, illegal hunting of protected wild animals remains common in mountainous areas in Taiwan.
"We hope to come up with better ways of managing of wild animal resources in Taiwan. Examples from the US and some European countries encouraged us to believe that appropriate management of hunting affairs might lead to a decrease in illegal hunting," Fang said.
Bureau officials said that hunters' kills would be carefully examined and no trading would be allowed.
The animals killed in the trial hunting project -- 563 in total -- will all be used in the year-end celebration of the Bunun.
Wang Ying (
"Due to inappropriate animal protection methods, some national park administrations in the US even need to have culling seasons for hunters to help control populations of protected wild animals. I designed a trial project in Danda in a bid to find effective ways to manage habitats for wild animals without hurting the sustainability of the environment," Wang said.
Conservationists have expressed doubt about the project, saying it would be the beginning of the legalization of a cruel and dangerous hunting culture in Taiwan, a nation with finite resources.
"The Democratic Progressive Party's sacrificing innocent animals' lives under the name of restoring Aboriginal culture is a just way to please Aboriginal voters," said Shih Chuan-fa (