Taiwan – the home of the endangered black-faced spoonbill

TAIPEI (The China Post) - Black-faced spoonbills, a water bird species, migrate to Taiwan every year as one of their wintering sites. The population of the endangered bird once falls to 300 and now it is 4,000 left in the world.

The black-faced spoonbill seems to love Taiwan’s environment dearly. In January, 2,500 birds were spotted twice in Taiwan at three locations: Tucheng, Tainan (469 birds), Budai, Chiayi County (389 birds), and Qigu, Tainan (267 birds).

On March 7, the Taiwan Council of Agriculture’s Endemic Species Research Institute published the research results conducted with the School of Life Science of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU).

The research team took two years to complete the world’s first sequencing of the genome of the black-faced spoonbill and around 1.19 billion draft genomes were discovered. It is hoped that the information and data obtained could make better contributions to the conservation and rehabilitative work.

The number of black-faced spoonbills was as high as 50,000 in the Ice Age. The main reason for its decrease dates back from the 1990s’ wars and the use of DDP insecticides.

The deadly product could prevent water birds from breeding healthy offspring by causing the absorption of calcium to reduce and the frangibility of the eggshell. The findings could be speculated by observing the changes in genotypes along with historical events.

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