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SAVE Effort at Jiading Wetlands


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From the Birding Community E-bulletin, February 2014:

 

Our geographic orientation in the E-bulletin is usually North America. However, we regularly also mention developments in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially when they relate to "our" migrants. (See, for example the Panama Bay IBA story elsewhere in this issue.)

 

From time to time however we touch on birding and bird conservation developments elsewhere.

 

Such is the case where certain Asian coastal issues are concerned, especially those in Korea and China that relate to migrant waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds.

 

Colleagues at SAVE (Spoonbill Action Voluntary Echo) based in the U.S. in Berkeley, California and working on wetland conservation with the iconic Black-Faced Spoonbill , represent one such effort. See here to find out more about. SAVE:

http://saveinternational.org/

 

Recently, SAVE has been addressing the issue of trying to expand a sustainable Black-faced Spoonbill wintering population in Taiwan. As spoonbill numbers increase, these long-legged waders colonize new territories outside the boundaries of Taiwan's regularly protected scenic areas and parks.

 

Last winter, 154 Black-faced Spoonbills took up residence in the Jiading Wetlands, a 420-acre wetland in southwestern Taiwan. Just a few weeks ago, the population count was released for this year, with 145 of the endangered birds tallied. There are also other bird species of concern in the area. You can view a 14-minute film of Black-faced Spoonbills and many other birds in the Jiading Wetlands taken just last month:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OrYNEy0qsw

 

Two roads (designated as 1-1 and 1-6) have already fragmented the wetlands into smaller, but still viable, parcels. A third road (designated 104), however, is proposed that would run through the middle of a large remaining wetland segment, thus presenting a significant impact.

 

Finding a solution may be tricky, as many community and development interests are lobbying for the construction of this road.

 

The road is also supported by Mayor Chen Chu who promised to build it during her re-election campaign. But this was before the spoonbills began using the site. The mayor, however, has been known to champion environmental and social causes, such as providing funds for several wetland parks in Kaohsiung. SAVE indicates that she needs to be convinced of the value of this particular wetland.

 

Finally and fortunately, the national legislature recently passed, after a 10-year debate, a strong Taiwan Wetland Law. Starting this month, roads proposed through wetlands, such as Road 1-4, will be subject to national standards.

 

Local supporters of the wetlands and the spoonbills believe that the regional government will pay attention to international concerns, and SAVE is pursuing that option.

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