Wed, Jan 30, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Forestry Bureau’s animal calendar a huge success

By Wu Hsin-tien and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The February page from a 2019 “Satoyama” nature calendar is pictured on Jan. 18 in Taipei.

Photo courtesy of the Forestry Bureau

Following the success of its “Forest of Food” calendar last year, the Forestry Bureau scored another hit this year with a calendar featuring Taiwanese satoyama animals.

The calendar’s first printing of 3,000 copies sold out in two days, and its second printing of 5,000 copies sold out within a week, the bureau said, adding that it would not print any more copies.

Satoyama refers to a low-altitude region between mountains and flatlands, Forestry Bureau Director-General Lin Hwa-ching (林華慶) said.

It is the center of human activity and populated by common animals such as cicadas, moths, dragonflies, mitten crabs, frogs and snails, he said.

However, economic exploitation and environmental changes have caused some animals to quietly disappear, he said.

The bureau therefore chose to highlight satoyama animals in this year’s calendar to promote the concept of positive coexistence between humans and satoyama animals, he said.

Each page features lively illustrations of different animal species, Lin said, adding that he did not want the drawings to look like scientific illustrations, because that would have created a distance between the viewer and the images.

Although he is a snake expert, the calendar did not include any snakes, because they are considered taboo and some people are scared of seeing them, Lin said.

After the release of the calendar’s first edition, someone pointed out that the male Swinhoe’s pheasant was missing spurs on its legs and that the snail’s shell spiraled counterclockwise instead of clockwise, he said.

These mistakes were corrected in the second printing, he said.

The bureau was glad that the calendar elicited such a passionate response, he said, adding that conservation should be part of everyone’s lives.

In February last year, the bureau also worked with the Taiwan Railways Administration to paint images of eight species on its trains.

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