As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 27 May 2016

Taiwan seeking to reduce ecological impact of alien bird

2016/05/26 16:54:15

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Taiwan is taking steps to deal with the problem of an introduced bird species that is causing an ecological disaster in the country, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Thursday.

The first step is to obtain the opinions of experts and scholars, who will meet Friday in Taipei to discuss the issue of the growing number African sacred ibises in Taiwan and their impact on the country's ecology, the COA said.

Under the auspices of the COA and the Chinese Wild Bird Federation, specialists in ecological balance and wild birds will meet and brainstorm on how to deal with the problem, said Kuan Li-hao (
管立豪), a division chief at the COA's Forestry Bureau.

Kuan said the ibis species, which is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, was first brought into Taiwan more than 30 years by a private zoo.

In 1984, some ibises were spotted in a wetland in Taipei, which indicated that they were breeding in the wild, Kuan said, speculating that the first birds had escaped from the zoo in Hsinchu County during a typhoon.

That year, the number of African sacred ibises recorded in Taiwan was in single digits, but now there are 1,100 in the wetlands stretching from northeast Taiwan to the west coast, he said.

The birds are also seen sometimes at waste water treatment plants, on manure heaps and in garbage dumps, Kuan said.

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