Endangered Species Conservation and Patrol Project Launched in Xingfu Wetland

Jin-Yi Lin
Published: 11 July 2023
Last edited: 11 July 2023
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Summary

Thirty years ago, Chishang Township’s (Taitung County, Taiwan) famous lunch boxes, Fanbaos, used to feature Aphyocypris kikuchii as a side dish, but their population declined due to habitat destruction and overbreeding of invasive species. In recent years, both the fish and the once-regionally-extinct Schoenus falcatus plant were rediscovered in the Xingfu wetland, inspiring the Taitung County Youth and Elderly Co-creation Social and Environmental Care Association to start their protection from 2019. The Association conducts hydrological surveys in the wetland and implements measures to monitor and protect it. They consult with professionals on the methods for invasive species elimination, train eco-tour guides, and encourage farmers to adopt the Satoyama spirit and transition to eco-friendly farming practices. To address the wetland's water level drop caused by earthquakes and droughts and endangering Aphyocypris kikuchii, the Association translocated the broodstock to artificial ponds for conservation purposes.

Classifications

Region
East Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Freshwater ecosystems
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Theme
Culture
Indigenous people
Invasive alien species
Local actors
Poaching and environmental crime
Restoration
Science and research
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Tourism
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Status Assessment
Species Monitoring and Research
Invasive Species Management/Removal
Species Intensive Management (in situ or ex situ)
Species Conservation Translocations
Species Conservation Planning
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
One Health coordination mechanism
One Health
Animal health
Challenges
Drought
Invasive species
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 9: Invasive alien species prevented and controlled
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge

Location

Xingfu Wetland, Chishang Township, Taitung County, Taiwan

Impacts

The Xingfu wetland is culturally significant to local residents, as it was once a site for fishing, hunting, grazing, and a ritual site for the indigenous Amis, which makes its protection even more important. Aphyocypris kikuchii has been successfully bred, with 500 individuals now present. Through environmental education initiatives and invasive species elimination events organized by the association during the annual Amis rituals, up to 60 kg of aquatic alien species have been successfully eliminated each year. The Association is also exploring various uses for alien plant species, including food, clothing, education, and entertainment. They also invite local elders to be trained as tour guides and develop eco-tourism activities. About 500 tourists participate in the environmental education tours each year.

 

As the wetland area is a highly popular tourist destination, the Association not only works to protect the wetland but also aims to educate local residents on how to identify invasive alien species by the means of Citizen Science Systematic Roadkill Surveys. The association is devoted to conserving native plants and animals, while also working to promote a harmonious relationship with nature and reviving Chishang Township's culture as a land of fish and rice.

Contributed by

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Li-Chuan Weng Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency