The Yangmingshan National Park Headquarters has been found accountable for the massive deaths of wild water buffaloes at Qingtiangang last winter. Control Yuan members believe the process of setting up wire fences was careless and negligent and ordered the administration to correct itself.
Jao Yung-ching, Member, Control Yuan: “The committee approved that Yangmingshan National Park should correct itself.”
Last winter, a large number of feral water buffaloes died at Yangmingshan's Qingtiangang Grassland. As of February this year, 50 water buffaloes have died in Qingtiangang, Dingshan to Shitiling, and Huangzuishan areas. The Control Yuan's investigation found that the decision to install barbed wire fences was inadequate and proposed the Yangmingshan National Park Headquarters to rectify the situation.
Jao Yung-ching, Member, Control Yuan: “The wire fence policy was improper and imprudent. It was a waste of NT$2.309 million in public funds. It was built in the beginning and then quickly demolished, causing a large number of water buffalo deaths.”
The Control Yuan pointed out that the headquarters did not consult experts, conservation groups, and the public in detail. Barbed wire fences were installed in the Qingtiangang area in 2019. After a large number of water buffaloes died, money was spent to dismantle the fence's eastern and southern sides. The decision-making process was sloppy and wasted public funds. The whole incident also highlighted that the water buffaloes' health is affected by factors such as habitat conditions and climate, which the park headquarters lacks in understanding and research.
Chang Shun-fa, Spokesperson, Yangmingshan National Park Headquarters: “Our information at the time was not complete. The fence was indeed set up based on safety considerations. We have already started research on the habit, which will be ongoing. We will monitor weather conditions, refer to expert opinions, and also deal with humanitarian care.”
YNP headquarters responded after reviewing Control Yuan's report, it will continue to improve. Relevant research on the water buffaloes is already being carried out. At present, more than ten water buffaloes are living at Qingtiangang. If the weather during winter is not good, humanitarian care and emergency rescue will be provided when necessary.