Litter and environmental damage are a threat to birds. In Taitung, nests filled with eggs are becoming roadkill because people don't think twice about driving onto beaches.
Last year, the Forestry Bureau found that Taiwan's black kite population had increased to 7-800. It is currently black kite mating season. A Tainan photographer recently came across a black kite taking off for flight with a blue and white slipper in its talons. Another birdwatcher saw a black kite with a mask in its mouth. Neither is a suitable material for nests.
Birdwatcher: “It was flying with a plastic bag.”
Huang Shu-ting, President, Bird Photography Club: “In the past few years, many birds have been harmed or trapped by discarded masks.”
The Wild Bird Society in Taitung County recently spotted little terns searching for nest materials on the beach. However, people driving onto beaches and over-cleaning of beaches made this a difficult task. Forty little tern nests have been spotted at one time on Chihben Wetlands' beach. Due to human interference, over half of the nests were abandoned.
Wu Chih-sheng, Chair, Taitung County Wild Bird Society: “Eggs can't run, so they become victims. If it's smaller birds, it's not as bad. However, if you don't follow the road, you end up killing them.”
Conservation groups say litter and environmental destruction are a huge threat to birds because birds can't differentiate between natural and artificial environments. They are calling on the public to do its part to protect wildlife.