World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall yesterday received an award from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) in recognition of her lifelong contributions to wildlife protection.
The award was handed to the Briton by Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) at the Jacana Eco-Education Reservation in Greater Tainan.
The park was set up in 2000 to help conservation of the bird species, which was endangered by construction of the high-speed rail system.
Yesterday was Goodall’s third visit to the nature reserve. She last visited it six years ago.
Goodall said she has seen big changes over the years, as the environment has become more suitable for the jacanas and has attracted other bird species and animals as well.
She praised the nation’s jacana conservation project as a very good example of environmental education, because it has helped increase the jacana population without hindering high-speed rail development.
Goodall said she has shared Taiwan’s story with other countries, adding that people in Taiwan should be proud of their nation’s achievement.
Yeh said the conservation efforts have helped the jacanas in Taiwan to increase from fewer than 50 in 1999 to 600 now.
The ministry has been promoting other measures to protect wildlife, such as closing freeways to traffic during the milkweed butterflies’ migration season and monitoring the number of ring-necked pheasants in areas near the Suhua Highway, where a road improvement project is under way.
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