Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Park seals tree-hole, angering bird-watchers

By You Tai-lang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Birds gather around a hole in a tree in Taroko National Park in an undated photograph.

Photo: Yu Tai-lang, Taipei Times

Bird-watchers have criticized the Taroko National Park Administrative Office’s decision to seal up a naturally formed hole in a Formosan Michelia tree in the Bruwan Plateau and said the office’s decision was not only going against nature, but was also targeting bird-watchers.

One of the bird-watchers, surnamed Chang (張), said he noticed the tree hole filled up with dirt on Monday.

The hole was used by birds as a natural bathing spot, Chang said, while denying that bird-watchers ever put any mealworms in the hole to lure the birds to the hole.

Instead, they would only add some water when the water level was low, Chang said, adding that he could not comprehend why the office would seal the hole.

It is not as if the birds taking a bath were harming anyone, Chang said.

Office Deputy Director-General Chang Teng-wen (張登文) said the office had found multiple bird-watchers placing mealworms into the hole and luring the birds into the hole with artificially produced bird sounds, adding that the dead mealworms within the tree hole were producing a bad odor and affecting people’s enjoyment of the natural scenery of the Bruwan Plateau.

The office asked the Bruwan observation post to confirm the findings before sealing up the hole, Chang Teng-wen said.

We decided to seal up the hole until further notice after failing to communicate with bird-watchers and tourists, Chang said, adding that the measure is temporary.

Another bird-watcher, surnamed Chen (陳), said the hole had existed for a long time and was discovered in January.

The administrative office seems to think bird-watchers are responsible for the number of birds in the tree hole, but the birds were visiting the hole naturally, Chen said, adding that sealing up the hole went against nature.

Meanwhile, Chang said the plateau would not place limits on bird watchers and would continue to allow them to bird-watch, but that the office hoped that the bird-watchers would respect and cherish the habitats of birds.

We hope that bird-watchers and photography enthusiasts will refrain from drawing the attention of birds in an artificial manner to capture photographs, Chang said, adding that bird-watchers should seek to discipline themselves.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top