Staff writer, with CNA
A Taiwanese research team banded a juvenile Chinese crested tern (Thalasseus bernsteini) in July, hoping to track its migration and learn more about the “mythical” bird that roosts in three groups of islands off the southeastern coast of China from May to August, a Forestry Bureau official said.
|Photo: Courtesy of the Forestry Bureau|
It was the first-ever successful banding of a Chinese crested tern, Forestry Bureau conservation official Hsia Jung-sheng (夏榮生) said.
The rare species nests in Taiwan’s Matsu (馬祖), as well as Jiushan and Wuzhishan islands off China’s Zhejiang Province from May to August and locals consider it a summer migratory bird.
The population of the bird was estimated at less than 50 in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List in 2000 and it is categorized as critically endangered, Hsia said.
Nature photographer Liang Chieh-te (梁皆得) happened to photograph the Chinese crested terns in Matsu while filming his documentary Fly, Kite Fly (老鷹想飛) in 2000.