The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is promoting a tour to Tainan’s Jacana Ecological Education Park in recognition of the efforts to restore the propagation of pheasant-tailed jacanas in the past 20 years.
The ministry began contributing to the efforts to restore the shorebird’s population when it was planning the construction of the nation’s high-speed rail system, it said.
The number of pheasant-tailed jacanas at the time had dwindled to fewer than 50 nationwide, but a field research last year found that their population had recovered to 1,741, which shows that the efforts to conserve the species have produced significant results, it said.
Photo courtesy of Jacana Ecological Education Park
To illustrate the conservation efforts of the past two decades, the ministry has published a picture book, titled Floating Leaves of Pheasant-Tailed Jacanas (水雉的浮葉), which is available for purchase at bookstores, the ministry said.
The story in the picture book shows the relationship between jacanas and water chestnuts, and how eco-friendly farming methods help preserve the species and their natural habitats, it said.
The conservation efforts also led to the establishment of the Jacana Ecological Education Park in 2007, which is now a tourist attraction, the ministry said.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday visited an eco-friendly farm in Tainan and tried his hand at harvesting water chestnuts there.
He later visited the park and examined the conservation efforts there.
“The park was established to reduce the impact of the high-speed rail system on the habitats of jacanas, and it tells the story of a successful coexistence of economic development, transportation projects and the ecosystem,” Lin said.
Consumers should purchase water chestnuts with an eco-friendly label, he said.
The ministry is also planning to publish picture books on how it has helped protect leopard cats, milkweed butterflies and green sea turtles, he added.
The tour to the park is one of the best examples of high-quality domestic tours, which the Tourism Bureau is currently promoting, Lin said.
It not only allows tourists to harvest water chestnuts, an interesting and meaningful activity, but it also helps boost the local economy and bring job opportunities, he said.
Taiwan’s success in protecting jacanas has been recognized by the Jane Goodall Institute, the ministry said, adding that it is working with the institute and the park to host storytelling sessions with the picture book before Christmas, featuring Lin and Jane Goodall as storytellers.
Goodall would tell the story in English through a recorded video, the ministry said.
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