Authorities are to temporarily shut one lane of a busy road to protect millions of butterflies on their seasonal migration, officials said yesterday.
Under the measure, one lane of the freeway near Linnei Township (林內鄉) will be closed on the mornings of April 3 to April 5 during the "peak hours" of the yearly migration by purple-spotted butterflies.
The measure could lead to traffic jams but it is worth doing, said Lee Thay-ming (
"Human beings need to coexist with the other species even if they are tiny butterflies," Lee said.
About one third of the country's purple-spotted butterflies risk their lives at the end of winter by flying north along the 300km route, which cuts across the elevated road, said Jhan Jia-long (
A study of Jhan's group showed that an estimated 11,500 butterflies per minute flew over the freeway in the three hours to noon on April 3, 2005 and that at least one million butterflies flew past the area on that day.
"A number of butterflies perished when they were dragged into strong turbulence caused by cars racing along the freeway," Jhan said.
Professor Sweehu Cheng (
Authorities also erected a protective net along the freeway, hoping that butterflies would be forced to fly at an higher altitude and avoid crashing into cars.
The third measure being taken is to install ultraviolet lights under the elevated road, which experts said could lure the light-sensitive insects to fly safely underneath.
The measures were aimed to reduce the ecological impact from the construction of the freeway, Cheng said, adding that butterflies are also a key link in the country's food chain.
"The factor [protection of butterflies[ was not taken into consideration when the freeway was built," he said. The freeway was inaugurated more than four years ago.
The proposed measures were presented by Cheng and Lin Tieh-hsung (
Cheng said he had not expected the measures, which would cost approximately NT$1 million (US$30,000) to implement, would be approved.
Each winter, millions of purple-spotted butterflies move south beginning in November, with approximately 600,000 wintering in "Purple Butterfly Valley" of Maolin, which along with the Monarch butterfly's winter home in Mexico is one of only two mass wintering sites known in the world, Jhan said.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on