Tue, Dec 24, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Survey to record bird numbers for wildlife protection

Staff writer, with CNA

A national bird survey is to be conducted around the New Year’s Day holiday to both celebrate the new year and raise public awareness about wildlife protection, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) said.

The survey would be the first of its kind in Taiwan since 1983 and involves universities, civic groups and over 20 local bird associations setting up more than 100 observation sites, which are expected to range across 8.6 percent of Taiwan proper, CWBF campaigner Allen Lyu (呂翊維) said.

Lyu said the census would take place between Dec. 28 and Jan. 12 and will involve volunteers recording the bird species they spot during periods of at least six consecutive hours within the sites, which each have a radius of three kilometers.

A database on bird populations will be built based on the findings, allowing follow-up investigations to be made in years to come, Lyu said.

Through periodic documentation, conservationists can better understand birds’ living environments and draw up better protection plans, he said.

It is also hoped that the idea of citizen science, which relies on public participation in scientific research, can be implemented as a fun family activity, Lyu said.

“We need the public to support this project, because there are only a limited number of researchers,” he said.

According to the CWBF, the concept for the survey came from the Christmas Bird Count in North America, in which nature lovers are asked to identify as many bird species as they can from mid-December to early January.

Taiwan used to hold new year bird counts between 1974 and 1983, but the activity was suspended, the federation said.

Anyone interested can find out more at nybc.bird.org.tw.

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