Black-faced Spoonbills Making Comeback in Taiwan

black faced spoonbill
Photo by Alnus via Wikimedia Commons

The endangered black-faced spoonbill (platalea minor) has been growing in numbers in Taiwan, according to The Central News Agency. The total worldwide number is estimated at 3259. The 3259 birds is a record number since organizations began tracking the black-faced spoonbill. 2272 black-face spoonbills were found wintering in Taiwan in mid-December.

While Hong Kong and Shenzhen have been making strides in preserving wetland areas for the birds and other species to thrive, the rest of mainland China has not been making much effort to reverse the habitat destruction. Preservationists are still cautious despite the increased numbers of birds as wetland habitats are dwindling across East Asia.

The birds migrate each winter from Korea and northeastern China to the mouth of the Cengwen River, which is a black-faced spoonbill reserve, as well as to other regions like the Pearl River Delta and as far south as the Philippines. The most successful breeding ground for the bird is the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

Recently a few black-faced spoonbills have died in Taiwan due to bacteria infections and bird flu.

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