The mikado pheasant, also known as “emperor’s pheasant,” is a species of pheasant endemic to Taiwan that is featured on Taiwan’s NT$1,000 bill. The mikado pheasant was once on the verge of extinction. However, thanks to the hard efforts of conservation workers, it has now returned to stable population levels. The Ministry of the Interior on Thursday shared the good news on its official Facebook page. It is a hard-won achievement that has been 30 years in the making. The ministry used the post to remind the public that if they encounter mikado pheasants while in mountainous or forest areas, they should admire the birds from a distance and refrain from disturbing them. The ministry also said that it hopes everyone will work together to protect Taiwan’s ecological diversity.
Taiwan is the only country in the world to have achieved success with a mikado pheasant breeding program. Since it was discovered that the mikado pheasant faced extinction, during 30 years of observation, the bird’s population within Yushan National Park has increased from just over 5,000 in 1986 to more than 10,000 today.
According to the Yushan National Park Administration Office, the mikado pheasant’s name was coined in 1906 when British ornithologists traveled to Yushan to collect specimens and inadvertently discovered two tail feathers of a male mikado pheasant on the headdress of a Tsou Aborigine. After being sent back to Britain for identification, the bird was announced as a new species.
Photo courtesy of Hsieh Yu-chen 照片：謝郁震提供
The mikado pheasant often inhabits high mountains at an altitude of 1,800 to 3,300m above sea level and it likes dense fog. In addition to Yushan National Park, the mikado pheasant can also be seen at Shei-Pa National Park and Taroko National Park.
(Translated by Edward Jones)
Photo courtesy of China Airlines via CNA 照片：華航提供／中央社
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