Monday, April 12, 2010

Yet another stream gone

If you follow the road (Route 149) that leads into the mountains from the Hushan Dam inlet pipe on the Chingshui River just above Tongtou village (Nantou County) for a few kilometres towards Tsaoling village (Yunlin County) you'll come to what was a pretty little stream with a suspension bridge. This was a lovely spot to stop on the way to Tsaoling and spend some time exploring a lovely mountain stream. Plumbeous Water Redstarts and Grey Wagtails would dart among the rocks. It was a good stakeout point to get a view of the elusive endemic Taiwan Whistling Thrush. On a quite early morning stroll there was always the chance of meeting a majestic Swinhoe's Pheasant. However, the stream as it was for millennia, is no more. Like countless other Taiwan mountain streams it has fallen victim to whims of the powers-that-be that seem hellbent on covering every little brook and creek in lifeless concrete. They say it's to stop erosion. I can't help but notice that tends to be when the erosion problems start and the constant failings of these so-called erosion remedies seems to keep provide some happy local contractor with a never ending supply of maintenance and repair work.

This is yet another prime example of good habitat being destroyed for no apparent reason. This area is the mountain area adjoining the Huben-Hushan IBA. Destruction of mountain riverine habitat above the Huben-Hushan IBA can only accelerate the horrendous ongoing degradation of this area we have witnessed over the past decade.

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