Bloodbath in Taiwan, after 70 years

This video is called Yvonne’s Life Under Taiwan Martial Law and White Terror Project (2016-17).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Taiwan: After 70 years, let’s talk about White Terror

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Tsai pledges truth on Chiang Kai-shek brutality

TAIWANESE President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to finally reveal the truth of nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek’s “White Terror” on the 70th anniversary of the murderous crackdown.

Speaking at a gathering of surviving victims in Taipei, Ms Tsai pledged to take a “rigorous and precise attitude” in assigning blame for the campaign of repression in the breakaway Chinese province launched on February 28 1947.

“After 70 years, I believe that Taiwanese society now has the mature democratic mechanisms to discuss this matter,” she told victims, families and supporters in 228 Peace Memorial Park in central Taipei, named after the date of the uprising.

Ms Tsai said during her inauguration last May that she expected to see a full report on the suppression of the protests.

Authorities have closed the landmark Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in the capital. The government is drafting legislation to rename it and to remove the dictator’s statue from the premises.

As many as 28,000 people are believed to have been killed after General Chiang dispatched his Kuomintang (KMT) troops to massacre participants in the largely peaceful protests … .

Many more were imprisoned and killed in the decades of political persecution that followed. 228 Memorial Foundation chief executive officer Yang Chen-long said: “We are pretty dissatisfied and feeling impatient.”

His family received 6 million Taiwanese dollars (£157,000) in compensation for the persecution of his father and two other relatives.

“The compensation for me isn’t that important,” he said.

“Chiang Kai-shek should take responsibility.”

Marches have been held this week from the site where the initial protests broke out to Memorial Park, demanding swifter action on the government’s promises of justice.

China considers the uprising a part of the nationwide struggle that led to the victory of the revolution in 1949.

But Taiwanese nationalists insist it was a backlash against attempts to govern the island from Beijing.

Chiang Kai-shek, considered the founder of the so-called Republic of China in Taiwan, alternately fought and allied with the communists against Japanese invaders from the 1930s to the second world war.

Saving albatrosses in Taiwan

This video says about itself:

Saving Albatrosses – How to Reduce Seabird BycatchBirdLife International

26 August 2015

The BirdLife Marine Programme’s work to reduce seabird bycatch in high seas fisheries will be familiar to followers of our efforts to save several albatross species from extinction. We have succeeded in encouraging all five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs – the bodies that manage high seas fisheries) to put seabird conservation measures in place, requiring vessels to deploy bycatch mitigation on board.

Our next task is to help ensure that these measures are actively implemented on vessels and track their efficacy in reducing seabird bycatch. To that end, and thanks to funding from the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, we have developed an instructional film for the skippers and crew of longline vessels, highlighting the issue of seabird bycatch and describing the simple and effective measures that can be taken to minimise fishing impacts on seabird populations. While this is mainly aimed at fishermen, it’s stuffed full of great albatross footage and neatly illustrates how to solve the problem of bycatch in longliners – so we thought we’d share it with you!

From BirdLife:

Speaking your language to save albatrosses

By Berry Mulligan, Wed, 16/12/2015 – 15:58

An estimated 100,000 albatrosses are killed in longline and trawl fisheries around the world each year. Longline fishing is one of the biggest threats to albatross survival worldwide and the BirdLife Marine Programme’s has worked tirelessly for over 10 years to reduce seabird bycatch in high seas fisheries and national waters, with some great successes for example in Namibia and South Africa.

We are building on this positive work. All five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations – the bodies in charge of managing high seas tuna fisheries – have now put seabird conservation measures in place, requiring longline vessels to deploy bycatch mitigation on board. The mitigation techniques include use of bird-scaring lines to keep seabirds away from baited hooks, weighting to help hooks sink quickly out of reach of foraging seabirds and setting hooks at night when albatrosses are less active.

The challenge now is to ensure that all longline fleets are aware of and implement these inexpensive and required measures, particularly those countries and fleets with large numbers of tuna longline vessels fishing in the south of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans where many albatross species live.

With this in mind we have developed this instructional video in Taiwanese for outreach with longline vessels and crews. Taiwan has over 300 large-scale and 1000 small-scale tuna longline vessels, making it one of the world leaders in longline fishing.

This is the Taiwanese albatross video.

Educational materials in appropriate languages are crucial to connect with fleets and communicate effectively with skippers to demonstrate the simple methods that are available to reduce unnecessary seabird deaths, as explained by Mayumi Sato, BirdLife Marine Programme Asia Coordinator:

“So far we have had a very positive engagement with the Taiwanese Fisheries Agency and industry groups on seabird bycatch. Videos such as this help us and our partners explain both the threats and solutions directly to fishers and fisheries officials. We hope that we can continue to expand our work with Taiwanese fleets to increase the uptake of seabird mitigation measures and work collaboratively to save albatrosses.”

You can also watch the video in English [top of the blog post] and it is coming soon in additional languages. It is geared towards fishermen, but includes some great footage of albatrosses and the simple solutions that can save them.

A breakthrough in marine conservation within the BirdLife Africa Partnership: the first steps: here.

Clouded leopards going back to Taiwan?

This video is called Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).

From Wildlife Extra:

Clouded leopards could be reintroduced to Taiwan

The Formosan clouded leopard was hunted to extinction in Taiwan in the 1980s, but it might get a new start on the island in the future, according to Scientific American.

Two years ago, after a 13 year search, scientists concluded that the leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) had gone extinct in Taiwan.

But a new paper by the same scientists states the island’s ecology has improved so much since the leopards disappeared that they might once again thrive there.

Clouded leopards disappeared from Taiwan decades ago, probably in the 1980s after intense overhunting for their furs followed by destruction of their forest habitat and declining populations of the cats’ prey species.

However, Taiwan has been so successful in slowing deforestation and protecting its other wildlife over the past few decades that the island could once again support populations of leopards.

As Po-Jen Chiang of the Institute of Wildlife Conservation in Taiwan and his fellow authors point out, Taiwan banned commercial hunting in 1973 and stopped logging its natural forests in 1991.

Although poaching and habitat loss continue, populations of some mammalian species, such as the Formosan macaque and Reeves’s muntjac have grown – so much so that they are now considered pests on farmlands.

The authors suggest that lack of predation by the now-missing clouded leopards could have something to do with this overpopulation of some mammalian species.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s natural forests have had time to regenerate. The researchers concluded that the island now has enough broadleaf, conifer and cypress forests, along with natural vegetation to support the prey mammals.

All told, the researchers calculated that 24 per cent of Taiwan – more than 8,500 square kilometres – contains suitable habitat for between 500 and 600 clouded leopards.

The cats of mainland Asia would make strong candidates for reintroduction.

Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2011 indicate that the cats on Taiwan probably weren’t a unique subspecies after all, so mainland clouded leopards would not be out of place on the island.

The main clouded leopard species (N. nebulosa) is currently considered vulnerable to extinction, with a total population of fewer than 10,000 individuals and no populations larger than 1,000 animals.

Their habitats are “undergoing the world’s fastest regional deforestation rates” according to the IUCN Red List and trade in their skins and bones continues to devastate their populations. So, Taiwan could become a much-needed refuge for clouded leopards in the future.