Over 300 endangered spoonbills sighted


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taking advantage of stronger northeasterly winds, a total of 347 black-faced spoonbills have arrived in the wetlands of Tainan County in southern Taiwan, reported a wildlife conservation group.

The first of the endangered species to arrive this year was observed in the southern county on Sept. 26, around one week later than usual because of Typhoon Fanapi, said Chiu Jen-wu, chairman of the Wildlife Conversation Institute of Tainan County.

The rare birds migrate each autumn from northern China and the border area between North Korea and South Korea, with some choosing to spend the winter on wetlands near Tainan’s Tzengwen River estuary.

By Oct. 16 the number of spoonbills had increased to just 68, because the northeasterly monsoon winds were too weak, explained Chiu. With the winds now stronger, the population could number up to 500 by the end of October and reach its peak during November, he predicted.