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Mangrove Thinning Results a Significant Increase of Biodiversity; Xiangshan Wetland Becomes a New Habitat for Black-Faced Spoonbills
Publish Date:107-05-22
Units:Department of General Affairs   Category:Tourism
Spring is the season for waterfowls to return to the north, and black-faced spoonbills had successively arrived Hsinchu City Xiangshan Wetland. The public is able to see multiple groups of black-faced spoonbills in Dazhuang area and Jincheng Lake area in Xiangshan Wetland. Each group contains 10 to 30 black-faced spoonbills. If you are lucky, you can see black-faced spoonbills catching fishes on the lake just like watching an ecological video.

Director of Hsinchu City Government Department of Economic Development Wu Jiatian stated that black-faced spoonbills nearly distinct, where the total number of black-faced spoonbills in the world is under 3,000. In recent years, there were about 1,000 black-faced spoonbills stayed in Taijiang National Park during winters. So far, there are 113 black-faced spoonbills foraging foods in Xiangshan Wetland this year which is 2.5 times more compared to the last year.

There were 5 black-faced spoonbills and 1 Eurasian spoonbill stayed in Xiangshan Wetland during last winter. Ecological conservation projects have been in progress following the yearly schedule such as the large scale mangrove thinning in Xiangshan Wetland. Hsinchu City Government (HCCG) expected to work on mangrove thinning in Keya Estuary this year; this will restore the habitat for benthic organisms, attract waterfowls to forage, and solve the surrounding environmental issues.
 
Director Wu stated that HCCG had requested National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) to do the research on mangrove thinning last year. According to the research, number of species, quantity, and the ratio of biodiversity in mangrove thinning area had been increased significantly. Plenty of benthic organisms such as fishes, shrimps, and crabs will attract waterfowls to forage.

Mayor Lin pointed out that the 1,700-hectare Xiangshan Wetland had fertilized a lot of shrimps and crabs which made it a suitable living space for waterfowls. In order to preserve ecology and restore habitats, HCCG had accomplished 100 hectares of mangrove thinning and removed 300 hectares of mangrove seedlings. The thinning around Keya Estuary was completed last year, and it now becomes an option for black-faced spoonbills to stay.

Mayor Lin stated that Xiangshan area has always been one of the major areas under urban development policy. Aside from refurbishing Xiangshan Wetland Environmental Education Park, HCCG established birdwatching platform and sea-viewing platform in Jincheng Lake. Multiple facilities in Xiangshan Wetland will be available this year including the wetland education center, crab-viewing trial, outdoor classroom, and seawall trial.

Department of Economic Development stated that according to the research, the ratio of biodiversity in mangrove thinning area had been increased. There was a significant increase of polychaete, minute crustaceans, and shellfishes. Based on the analysis, hypoxia has been reduced in this area due to underground sandification after mangrove thinning. Microorganisms are able to sufficiently decompose underground organic matters which will benefit benthic organisms like Nereis and Gammarus. Moreover, the benthic organisms are the major food source for birds living on the mudflat.

Village Chief of Xiangshan Dazhuang Village Chen Dechuan stated that mangrove thinning reduced the amount of Forcipomyia taiwana (biting midge) and enriched the ecology in Dazhuang Village. Village Chief Chen pointed out that the residents are very happy that they finally freed from Forcipomyia taiwana and the mess in mangrove area.
 
Translated by: Lin Chenhao

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