Taiwan’s only pheasant-tailed jacana conservation park in Tainan County was one of the lesser-known of Typhoon Morakot’s many victims.
Located in Guantian Township (官田), the Pheasant-tailed Jacana Ecological Education Center suffered its worst damage since it was built 10 years ago to promote the conservation of the protected water bird — nicknamed the “water chestnut bird” locally because it inhabits water chestnut ponds.
Pheasant-tailed jacanas in the 15-hectare park had built more than 30 nests and laid nearly 100 eggs, of which about 60 had hatched, just before the typhoon struck.
Almost all perished in Morakot’s floodwaters, volunteers at the center said on Saturday.
The center was encouraged to discover, however, that some of the birds that fled the park during the typhoon returned several days later, and the surviving birds built 10 new nests and laid some 40 eggs, a sign that mating patterns had recovered.
Forestry Bureau figures showed there were about 200 Pheasant-tailed jacanas in Taiwan last year. With such a small population, the wild birds are listed as a protected species by the Wildlife Conservation Act.
World-renowned wildlife conservationist Jane Goodall visited the center in November as part of her efforts to witness Taiwan’s achievements in the conservation of the wild bird.
It was the second time she had visited the center.
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