Monday, May 23, 2011

Update on the Fairy Pitta

A Huben Fairy Pitta:- photo courtesy of Richard Yu.

An unseasonable dry spell from March to mid May seems to be one of the prime suspects for the cause of a very poor general spring migration. The Fairy Pitta followed this trend and the first arrivals were recorded in late April rather than mid April. The bulk of the pitta arriving in the Huben-Hushan area appeared to arrive during the period 5th - 8th May.

It is still too early to hazard any guesses on a decrease or increase in numbers for this season. Fairly heavy seasonal rains have been experienced since mid May but it appears that these rains haven't resulted in flooding which could threaten nesting pitta. Though not likely to make landfall on Taiwan; severe tropical storm Songda should pass to the east of Taiwan bringing heavy rains to the island later this week.

Researchers from the Taiwan Endemic Research Institute will be monitoring and conducting research on the breeding Fairy Pitta once again this season. The construction Hushan Dam continues and regrettably independent access to the site to observe and monitor impacts is restricted so the actual situation on the ground remains very much a mystery. We can only hope the mitigation measures are being implemented and monitored. We will continue to provide updates on the Fairy Pitta during this season as we learn things.

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