何去何從 全台剩不到500隻的石虎 | Less than 500 leopard cats left in Taiwan

TAIPEI (The China Post) – The leopard cat, or “Shi Hu” in Chinese, is the only remaining native Felidae in Taiwan after the disappearance of the Formosan clouded leopard. Today, there are only about 500 animals left in Taiwan which are often victims of road kills and poisoning, making all conservation efforts more difficult. Even more worrisome, leopard cats live in shallow mountains where their territories often overlap with many development projects.

石虎,瀕危的保育類動物,在台灣雲豹確定滅絕之後,是台灣僅存的原生貓科動物。目前全台灣數量僅剩下500隻左右,但又時常有路殺、毒殺等案例發生,更令人擔心的是,石虎棲息於淺山,也與許多開發案的地區重疊。

In recent days, for instance, construction began in a wetland park in Chuo Lan, an urban township in Miaoli County, the project is part of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Yet, it destroyed the natural habitat of the leopard cats in the name of economic development at the expenses of the endangered species. To highlight the irony of this situation , the public has, therefore, called the Chuo Lan park: the “memorial park” of leopard cats.

前些日子,苗栗卓蘭的濕地公園開挖,這是在前瞻基礎建設中的計畫,打著保育石虎的名號,但卻將石虎的棲地夷為平地,且在上面建設石虎意象保留,讓許多人哭笑不得,諷刺卓蘭公園根本是石虎「紀念」公園。

Now the construction has halted but the excavation has already caused a lot of damage. How can the government and other experts from various sectors fix the problem and make it right again?

卓蘭公園目前已經宣布停建,但已經開挖且造成傷害,到底要怎麼「亡羊補牢」,政府或是各界專家該怎麼彌補對石虎棲地造成的傷害呢?

In addition to the Chuo Lan park, there are many development projects impacting the natural habitat of leopard cats such as Yulon Motor’s second assembly line in Sanyi, a township in Miaoli. It will sacrifice 32 hectares of the endangered species’ habitat so there is little wonder that the case has been sent from an environmental assessment for review.

而除了卓蘭公園之外,還有許多開發案都在石虎的棲地上進行,像是先前的裕隆三義二廠興建案,就要犧牲32公頃的石虎棲地,目前全案已送往環評大會。

Aside from the destruction of their habitats, road kills also decimate the population. Leopard cats are also hunters so they often are the innocent victims of poisoning by chicken farm owners. Will the double threats of the destruction of their habitat and the reduction of their population further lead to the disappearance of leopard cats like the Formosan clouded leopard?

除了本質上的棲地破壞,族群數量稀少的石虎也常有路殺的問題,且加上他「愛吃雞」的特性,也讓其容易被雞舍主人所下得毒餌毒殺,在棲地被破壞與族群數量減少的雙重打擊下,石虎是否會踏上台灣雲豹的後塵呢?