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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 03:04   #126
Mark Bruce
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Huben IBA, under the axe.

The Hushan Dam issue goes to the EPA plenary committee next Thursday. Hopefully the EPA plenary committee will uphold the ruling of the EPA subcommittee that work on Hushan Dam had started illegally and environmental impact assessments hadn't been done in accordance with EIA requirements. There is a lot of perceived governmental interference with the EPA plenary committee so we just don't know how this is going to turn out.

The Hushan Dam Project is the key to further development of Taiwan's central west coast. Not only does the Hushan Dam impact very negatively on the Huben IBA and the Fairy Pitta, it will further development in the form of heavy pollution generating industry on the coast that will threaten the Dacheng Wetland IBA. This area is also home to the recently discovered (2002) Taiwan population of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Sousa Chinensis. Studies indicate that these dolphins are unique and are in all probability an endemic subspecies or possibly even a new Sousa species. These dolphins are under very serious pressure and any further loss of habitat will lead to their loss.

More information on the Hushan Dam and the Sousa dolphins can be found on
Save the Taiwan Sousa Dolphins and Hushan Dam Blog. You can help by sending a Letter of Concern to the Taiwan Government.

Last edited by Mark Bruce : Thursday 17th May 2007 at 03:15. Reason: typo
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Old Friday 18th May 2007, 05:59   #127
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Hushan, Conservation Forum Thread

Please see the Pittas and Dolphins, Hushan Dam thread in the conservation forum http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=86430.
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2007, 03:48   #128
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Other news is that the EPA minister has resigned and stepped down and because of this the Hushan hearing has been postponed.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../22/2003361943
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Old Friday 25th May 2007, 22:32   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bruce View Post
Other news is that the EPA minister has resigned and stepped down and because of this the Hushan hearing has been postponed.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../22/2003361943
That's very sad Chang has stepped down, Mark, he sounded like a force for 'good' where it was very much needed - I wonder whether sacrificing yourself on principle in politics ever effects anything other than a change in Minister, possibly one worse than the predecessor? Keep up the good work though and raising awareness. The world is becoming a smaller place as far as environmental destruction is concerned, so hopefully, bad international press may be influential. Whether it will be enough to overide economic/human resource interests is another matter though.
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Old Saturday 26th May 2007, 13:05   #130
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I wonder whether sacrificing yourself on principle in politics ever effects anything other than a change in Minister, possibly one worse than the predecessor?
A very valid point. I wonder who will be next and what direction they will take. While Chang is often painted as a good guy, it would be fair to say that he was controversial and there were quite a few environmental groups that didn't think too highly of him.
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Old Friday 8th June 2007, 04:57   #131
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Huben Frogs and Mammals List

Frogs
Spectacled Toad Bufo melanosticus
Central Formosan Toad Bufo bankorensis LC
Chinese Tree Frog Hyla chinesis
Ornate Rice Frog Microhyla ornate
Taiwan Rice Frog Microhyla heymonsi LC
Stejneger’s Paddy Frog Micryletta stejnegeri
Indian Rice Frog Rana limnocharis
Olive Frog Rana adenopleura LC
La Touche’s Frog Rana latouchii LC
Sauter’s Frog Rana sauteri
Guenther’s Amoy Frog Rana guentheri LC
Indian Bullfrog Rana rugulosa
Swinhoe’s Frog Rana swinhoana LC
Farmland Tree Frog Rhacophorus arvalis EN
Brown Tree Frog Buergeri robusta
Buerger’s Japanese Frog Buergeria japonica LC
Moltrecht’s Tree Frog Rhacophorus moltrechti LC
Meitien Tree Frog Chirixalus idiootocus
Eiffinger’s Tree Frog Chirixalus eiffingeri
White-lipped Tree Frog Polypedates megacephalus LC

Mammals
Formosan Rock Macaque Macaca cyclopis VU
Formosan Wild Boar Sus scrofa taivanus LC
Formosan Small-toothed Ferret-Badger Melogale moschata subaurantiaca LC
Formosan Gem-faced Civet Paguma larvata taivana LC
Crab-eating Mongoose Herpestes urva LC
Formosan Hare Lepussinensis formosus LC
Insular Mole Mogera insularis LC
Asian House Shrew Suncus murinus LC
Grey Shrew Crocidura attenuata LC
Lesser White-toothed Shrew Crocidura suaveolens LC
Japanese House Bat Pipistrellus abranus
Schreiber’s Long-fingered Bat Miniopterus schreibersii LC
Serotine Bat Eptesicus serotinus borekawai LC
Taiwanese Leaf-nosed Bat Hipposideros terasensis
Ryukyu Mouse Mus caroli LC
Lesser Rice-field Rat Rattus losea LC
Greater Bandicoot Rat Bandicota indica LC
Coxing’s White-bellied Rat Niviventer coxingi NT
Eurasian Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus NT
House Mouse Mus musculus LC?
Pallas’s Squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus LC
Indian Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista philippensis LC

IUCN Listing given after scientific name.
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Old Friday 15th June 2007, 05:52   #132
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Tracking and Monitoring

Early on Tuesday I rode out to Huben to meet up with Scott Lin of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute. He has been monitoring the breeding of the Fairy Pitta. As I arrived, I found Scott with two fledglings. The chicks in the nest he had been monitoring had just fledged and of the four fledglings present he had netted two.

The fledglings were quickly processed with measurements being recorded and then banded before being released. The one fledgling was found to be particularly large and strong so a transmitter was fitted to it. Very little is known about the post breeding period of the Fairy Pitta and this year some transmitters are being put onto a number of individuals so that their movements can be monitored. Attached are a few photos.
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Old Saturday 30th June 2007, 06:49   #133
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BirdLife Internation has once again voiced its concern over the future of the Huben Fairy Pitta.

Dam raises global concerns over future of Fairy Pitta
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Old Saturday 30th June 2007, 10:38   #134
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I certainly hope that they can find some alternate, less destructive means to obtain their desired ends and give the Huben Fairy Pitta a fighting chance for survival.

We are certainly losing ground worldwide in sustaining our natural wildlife areas in our ever increasing quest for "developing" these areas with detrimental effects on our fora and fauna.
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 04:28   #135
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We are certainly losing ground worldwide in sustaining our natural wildlife areas in our ever increasing quest for "developing" these areas with detrimental effects on our fora and fauna.
Too true, Larry.
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Old Thursday 12th July 2007, 04:00   #136
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Two papers on the Fairy Pitta have been published in the last few months. Most research for the papers was conducted in Huben.
The Diet of Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha Nestlings in Taiwan as Revealed by Videotaping
Effectiveness of Playbacks in Censusing the Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha)
during the Breeding Season in Taiwan


Also, the Taiwan Endemic species Research Institute has put up a very short online video of the Huben Fairy Pitta called Living Jewels, The Fairy Pitta. The video is a little dated but gives one a good idea of the Huben area.
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Old Thursday 19th July 2007, 04:41   #137
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Tracking and monitoring update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bruce View Post
Early on Tuesday I rode out to Huben to meet up with Scott Lin of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute. He has been monitoring the breeding of the Fairy Pitta. As I arrived, I found Scott with two fledglings. The chicks in the nest he had been monitoring had just fledged and of the four fledglings present he had netted two.

The fledglings were quickly processed with measurements being recorded and then banded before being released. The one fledgling was found to be particularly large and strong so a transmitter was fitted to it. Very little is known about the post breeding period of the Fairy Pitta and this year some transmitters are being put onto a number of individuals so that their movements can be monitored. Attached are a few photos.
An update on the fledgling shown in the photos used in the above post has been received. The nestling fledged on June 12 and was captured by researchers just minutes after fledgling. The youngster was well above the average size of a fledgling at that age and was therefore fitted with a radio transmitter for monitoring.

This fledgling was observed many times over a period of three weeks within the area it had been banded. It was feeding well on earthworms by itself. After three weeks it almost fell pray to a Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela but successfully escaped unharmed. That same day the signal was lost. It would seem that the incident caused the bird to move to a different area. If the bird had been caught by a raptor the radio transmitter would more than likely have been recovered as they have been with other fledglings that have fallen pray to raptors. Movements before migration are common so its disappearance from the area can be seen as normal. Lets pray he makes it back next summer and that his leg bands are observed by researchers once again in the Huben area for many years to come.

See Monitoring of Fairy Pitta nests and the movements of fledglings and
Fairy Pitta fledgling monitoring, update on the individual photographed for more photos.
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Old Thursday 19th July 2007, 12:05   #138
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I enjoyed watching the video of the Fairy Pitta family. I certainly hope that this species can continue to survive in lieu of the continuing developement in their favored habitat. Perhaps one day I will be able to observe this fantastic bird!
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Old Friday 20th July 2007, 03:37   #139
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I enjoyed watching the video of the Fairy Pitta family. I certainly hope that this species can continue to survive in lieu of the continuing developement in their favored habitat. Perhaps one day I will be able to observe this fantastic bird!
Hi Larry,
Yes, a great bird. The video is factually outdated. It gives a very good idea of what the habitat looks like in Huben and also the habits of the species. Most of the footage was shot between 1999-2000 at a time when Taiwan's importance as a breeding area for the species was only beginning to be realised. Since then it has been established that Taiwan is the major breeding area for the species. The video is also incorrect in saying that the species winters in Indochina. At that time they were confusing the ranges of the Blue Winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis and the Fairy or Lesser Blue Winged Pitta Pitta nympha. It is now known that the species winters on Borneo and only passes through Indochina on passage.

At the time that the video was shot they could only locate and monitor a single nest in the Huben area and only recorded 17 males in total for that season. This season over forty nests were successfully monitored in the area with the last brood of nestlings having fledged yesterday.

Last edited by Mark Bruce : Saturday 21st July 2007 at 05:33. Reason: typo
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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 00:58   #140
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Been a very long time since I posted anything in this thread. With local patches now in regional subforums and that I'm meeting up with BF member Oregonian this afternoon to take him around Huben it seems like it's a good time to get this thread up and going again.
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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 03:01   #141
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That's great - I've been hoping to hear more about your local birding! I've enjoyed the "historical" reading a lot :)

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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 13:38   #142
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Thanks, Gretchen !
An early start tomorrow with Mr & Mrs Oregonian so need to hit the sack. I'll catch up with what we saw in Huben in a day or two.
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Old Thursday 2nd April 2009, 00:58   #143
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Are you getting some good birds with the change of season - or is it mostly birds leaving now?

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