Yangmingshan (陽明山) National Park in Taipei City is soliciting volunteers to help with a census to discover changes in the demographics of butterflies found in the park.
In a very short period of time, 192 people have signed up to spend a day conducting a survey of butterflies living in the Yangmingshan area, park superintendent Lin Yung-fa (林永發) said.
The volunteers will conduct the surveys on Wednesday, next Saturday, July 22 and July 25, with 48 people working on the census on each of the days, park administration officials said.
They will be guided and assisted during their efforts by park rangers and specialists from the Butterfly Conservation Society of Taiwan, a non-profit organization.
“The survey results will help the park administration to build a database on butterflies in the area, of which there are at least 168 different species,” Lin said.
Chen Chien-chih (陳建志), founder of the Butterfly Conservation Society of Taiwan and a professor at the Taipei Municipal University of Education, said only a few of the 168 species found on Yangmingshan are migratory. One of them is the chestnut tiger, which usually appears in Taiwan, particularly in the Yangmingshan area, in spring and summer, with its numbers reaching a peak of around 100,000 during June.
After reaching a population peak, the chestnut tigers disappear all of a sudden, with experts still unsure of exactly where they go, he said.
“Some say they go to Japan and some say they migrate to other parts of Taiwan,” Chen said. “The census data might help answer questions like these.”