A nationwide bird survey is to be conducted over the New Year period to celebrate the holiday and raise public awareness of wildlife protection, the Taiwan-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation said.
Similar to last year’s census, which documented 292 bird species, this year’s survey is to involve universities, civic groups and bird associations working to identifying birds in nearly 140 observation “circles” across the nation, federation campaigner Allen Lyu (呂翊維) said.
“The most exciting thing is that we have more groups registered on outlying islands this year, which could boost the number of species that are documented,” Lyu said.
In Kinmen County, for instance, there are three groups of volunteers joining in the effort, compared with only one last year, Lyu said.
He said that more than 1,000 bird lovers are expected to turn out for the event across Taiwan, which would be nearly double the 600 participants in last year’s survey.
Participants are required to stay in their circles — each has a radius of 3km — for at least six hours a day during the census, due to take place from Saturday next week to Jan. 11, and record any bird species they see. A database on bird populations will be built based on the findings so that follow-up research can be performed, helping conservationists to better understand birds’ living environments and draw up better protection plans, Lyu said.
It is also hoped that the idea of citizen science, which relies on public participation, can be implemented, Lyu said.
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