Mon, Nov 28, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Hawk-owl among protected species found in illegal net

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

A brown hawk-owl, a protected species, was on Friday rescued from an illegal bird net set up in the forests in Miaoli County’s Manapan Mountain (馬那邦山) area and sent to the Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou County for emergency care, the Forestry Bureau said.

The bureau said the injured owl was found by patrol officers from the Hsinchu Forest District Office’s Dahu (大湖) workstation in the Manapan Mountain area.

A 200m-by-10m net had been set up illegally and had several birds from protected species caught in it, including the brown hawk-owl, two mountain scops owls, two Taiwan hwameis and other wild birds.

Among the birds caught, only the brown hawk-owl was still alive when discovered by the patrol officers.

The bureau said many people set up bird nets in mountainous areas to catch pigeons for ransom before the pigeon-racing season, but they often kill many wild birds in the process.

The Hsinchu Forest District Office said that according to Article 19 of the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法), it is illegal to set up nets or traps to capture wild animals and the capture or killing of protected species could result in a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,570) to NT$1 million and a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

The office said it would continue to crack down on illegal nets and traps in the area to protect the safety of wild animals in their habitat.

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