Reminder to the Public - Council of Agriculture to Update Terrestrial Protected Species List, Effective from January 9, 2019

The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan announced the amendment to the "Terrestrial Protected Species List" on January 9, 2019, in which seventeen species were added to the list of species native to Taiwan while eight protected species have been removed. Of the non-native species list, there will be ten additions and 286 removals of protected species, and one additional family. For members of the public rearing species newly added on the announced list, please register with the government of the local municipalities and counties (cities) before March 8, 2019. In conjunction with the reorganization of government agencies, the competent authority of marine wildlife conservation affairs has been changed to the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC). Therefore, the "Marine Protected Species List" will also be announced by OAC today.
The Forestry Bureau explained that in this amendment of the Terrestrial Protected Species List, seventeen species, including checkered keelback (Xenochrophis piscator), Baer's pochard (Aythya baeri), yellow-breasted bunting (Emberiza aureola), etc. have been added to the native section, re-categorized from the General Wildlife list and moved to the Protected Species list. On the other hand, eight species - Reeves' muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi), Formosan rock macaque (Macaca cyclopsis), masked palm civet (Paguma larvata), Latham's snipe (Gallinago hardwickii), brown spotted pitviper (Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus), many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus), Chinese cobra (Naja atra), and short-legged japalure (Japalura brevipes) - will be improving their status from Protected Species to General Wildlife. For non-native species, the latest amended appendices from the 17th CITES meeting (CoP17) has been used as reference, where all species of the genus Lanthanotidae, as well as Mount Kenya bush viper (Atheris desaixi), Kenya horned viper (Bitis worthingtoni), Anzuetoi arboreal alligator lizard (Abronia anzuetoi), psychedelic rock gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica), turquoise dwarf gecko (Lygodactylus williamsi), and Titicaca water frog (Telmatobius culeus) have been moved from General Wildlife to the Protected Species category to strengthen the conservation of the wild population of these species. While for the Java sparrow which already has a mature industry in Taiwan and most of the parrots in the CITES Appendix II, as their use does not affect the survival of wild populations, so they have been moved to the General Wildlife category.
Investigation for Illegal Hunting and Trapping of Newly Delisted Protected Species to Be Strengthened and Commercial Use Stopped
In regards to the amendment of the Protected Species List, the Executive Yuan Council of Agriculture Wildlife Advisory Committee held a meeting on June 25, 2018, in which teams of wildlife experts assessed animals by mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects, and fishes and gave suggestions for modifications according to the "Wildlife Assessment Classification Guidelines". The confirmed conclusions of the discussions were then submitted to the Council of Agriculture for further verification. The notification was announced on September 11 and ended on November 12.
During the notification period, animal conservation groups expressed concern that the re-categorization of the Formosan rock macaques, Reeves' muntjac, and masked palm civet to the General Wildlife list would result in hunting and captive rearing issues. According to the Forestry Bureau, although the wild population of Formosan rock macaques have been relegated to the General Wildlife category, except for the Formosan rock macaques that have been registered with the municipalities and counties (cities) before the announcement of the update, which can then continue to be reared and will continue to be subjected to monitoring and inspection, otherwise for individual animals found to be newly kept, their source will be strictly traced to avoid the occurrence of the wild macaques being captured. In addition, the government of the local municipalities and counties (cities) will regularly conduct visits every year to pet shops, seafood and game meat restaurants, and stores that may sell wild animals and wild animal products. After the amendment of this list, the Forestry Bureau will conduct nationwide joint investigations from time to time to increase the number of stores inspected and combat the illegal commercial use of wildlife.
There were also some members of the public who held the suspicion that the Formosan rock macaque was removed from the Protected list in order to solve the problem of macaques damaging crops. In response to this, the Forestry Bureau emphasized that the removal of the Formosan rock macaque from the Protected category was the result determined by the expert team based on the "Wildlife Assessment Classification Guidelines" and their professional opinion. This decision has nothing to do with resolving the issue of agricultural damage. Since 2016, the COA has promoted the subsidy of local governments to assist farmers through demonstration projects for preventing and controlling Formosan rock macaque from damaging crops, and subsidized farmers in agricultural areas pestered by macaque damage to build electric fencing. Not only does this measure help with the prevention and control of macaques, it is also effective against animals such as wild boar, sika deer, Reeves' muntjac, or hare. Through the active promotion by the COA, the number of applications by farmers for the set up of electric fences has increased significantly from 45 cases in 2016 to 216 in 2017, and 245 cases in 2018, with a total of 506 electric fence applications. The promotion of this measure will continue in the future to encourage the public to use humane methods to handle the macaque crop damage problem.
Organization of the Wildlife Monitoring Program for the Timely Adjustment of the List Based on Population Status
With regards to the monitoring mechanism for the relevant species after the adjustment of the protected species lists, the Forestry Bureau has collaborated with the Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI) to take inventory and review the existing long-term wildlife monitoring system. Furthermore, combine the various surveys of the relevant agencies, citizen scientists, conservation groups, and experts and scholars for the integration of information sources and strengthen monitoring efforts, and establish a national investigation database to supplement the needs of scientific evidence and enhance the social credibility of the Protected Species Lists. Out of which, in collaboration with the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), data on macaque location will be collected and supplemented by the Forestry Bureau patrol personnel using the same survey method during the inspection to expand the scope of investigation. Reeves' muntjac and masked palm civet are mainly based on the data from the 164 automatic camera monitoring systems currently set up by the Forestry Bureau around Taiwan, supplemented by the data from animal monitoring programs implemented by the Forestry Bureau, the ESRI, and the academic community, which are then analyzed based on trend changes. If abnormal changes are found, immediate actions will be taken in response.
Members of the Pubic Who Already Possess Newly Added Protected Species Before the Announcement Must Apply for Registration within the Time Limit
For members of the public who already have in their possession species that have been newly added to the list before the announcement, in accordance with the provisions of Article 31, paragraph 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Act, they must bring the Protected Wildlife Registration Application Form (can be downloaded from the Nature Conservation website of the Forestry Bureau/Media Downloads/Download Application Forms), identity document, relevant documentation of the animal (such as CITES export license or the purchase certificate issued by domestic seller), and a clearly identifiable photo to the government of the local municipalities and counties (cities) and apply for registration within 2 months after the announcement takes effect, that is, before March 8, 2019. After the registration card has been issued, please ensure to properly raise or keep the animal. Breeding is not permitted, unless for educational or academic research purposes, and with the consent of the competent authority. The wildlife species of this announcement applies to wild individuals, that is, wild individuals are required to comply with the aforementioned provisions. If the animals are legally imported and possess legal import documentation, registration is not required. If the public has any doubts, please consult the government of the local municipalities and counties (cities). The public is reminded that the causal capture of both protected species and general wildlife must be avoided, please take note, otherwise they will be subject to penalties.
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