Mobile Ecosystem Exhibition - Satoyama Animal Train 2.0 Accompanying You on Your Journey

In the beginning of last year (2018), the launch of the Satoyama Animal Train amazed the public and received a warm response. The Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture (COA) and the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) once again collaborated to create the “Satoyama Animal Train 2.0”. The “Smiling Train”, EMU800 electric multiple unit train, has been painted with four types of Satoyama ecosystem, including secondary forest, stream and river, paddy and wetland, and field settlement, while cute illustrations of a variety of representative wildlife have also been included, serving as a bridge between the Satoyama ecosystem and human lifestyle and embarking on the journey once again with a new look. Today (3rd), witnessed by Chen Chi-chung, Minister of Council of Agriculture; Lin Chia-lung, Minister of Transportation and Communications; and Karen Yu, Legislative Yuan legislator, the inaugural trip, with the theme “Journeying for Love”, departed from the Nangang station.
The Forestry Bureau said that the “National Ecology Green Network Establishment Project”, launched in 2018, serves to announce the cross-departmental cooperation that will step by step take inventory of the national ecology issues and solutions, as well as link the eco-corridors between mountain ranges and the coast. It is hoped that the wildlife of Satoyama will be able to live in safety and travel with peace-of-mind within the conservation network. The Satoyama Animal Train 2.0, traveling between countries and fields, will be gently telling the stories of the many Satoyama wildlife species this time round.
At the inaugural journey press conference, the legislator Karen Yu praised the Satoyama Animal Train for demonstrating the “warm power” of Taiwan, where the incorporation of public sector cross-departmental cooperation and community design aesthetics had launched the most heartwarming railway journey in Taiwan. Chen Chi-chung, Minister of Council of Agriculture, said that the COA has greatly increased the funding for conservation work, but no matter how much large the funds may be, it would be impossible to implement conservation measures if there is no participation from all members of society. Therefore, it is essential that everyone must have knowledge and concern for animals and the environment. Lin Hwa-ching, Director General of the Forestry Bureau, said that the habitats of well-known protected wildlife species such as the Formosan black bears and Mikado pheasant are in a relatively well-protected medium-high altitude environment. However, the habitats of about 55% of wildlife are in the low-altitude mountain and plain environment, which are mostly private land and heavily developed by humans. Therefore, the Forestry Bureau, together with the various relevant bureaus of the COA, as well as through cross-departmental cooperation, launched the National Ecology Green Network, using methods such as ecological afforestation and eco-friendly farming to improve the habitat of these animals. The Satoyama Animal Train symbolizes the vision of enabling wildlife to travel freely and unhindered.
Cross-Departmental Cooperation - Rebuilding the National Green Network along the Green and Blue Belts
The Forestry Bureau further explained that for 60% of Taiwan's wildlife, there is a huge overlap of their habitat and human living environment at an altitude of one thousand meters and below on the central mountain ridge. Under manmade damages such as road constructions, land development, excessive land cultivation, and the use of pesticides, the landscape where people and nature coexist at Satoyama landscape is becoming scarce, and the survival of Satoyama wildlife is threatened. Therefore, the “National Green Network Project” was proposed to mend the broken habitat so that the interdependence between species and the ecosystem, as well as the food chain (net) can become whole, in order to regain a harmonious relationship between men and the ecosystem.
Over the past year of the implementation of the National Green Network Project, basic national environmental and ecological data have been gradually collected and established through the cross-departmental platform. In addition to the establishment of the first eco-corridor between the Central Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range in Guangfu Township, Hualien County, important preliminary accomplishments include: integration of farmland and wetlands with an area of more than 125 hectares next to secondary forests, which promotes eco-friendly production and preserves the habitat of more than 100 bird species; 63 conservation action plans for more than 10 endangered wildlife species such as the leopard cat and grass owl; implementation of “green belts” measures such as constructing anti-roadkill eco-corridors on railroads-highways and improving existing roads and construction facilities; encouraging reduced pesticide use and transformation of agricultural areas with biodiversity potentials, using the Green Conservation Label to create a safe and habitable environment for wildlife, as well as to provide eco-friendly food that consumers can eat with peace of mind. There are currently 325 Green Conservation Label farms with a total production area of 469 hectares, sheltering the habitat of more than 40 protected wildlife species.
Satoyama Mobile Ecosystem Exhibition - Trains are More than Transportation Vehicles
The Forestry Bureau pointed out that the colorfully painted Satoyama Animal Train is not only a mode of transportation but also an environmental education platform. Members of the public can get to know and pay more attention to the low-altitude mountain animals and the Satoyama ecosystem through the vibrant paintings of the wildlife, their ecological habits, and habitat, which will, in turn, help them to understand and support the National Ecology Green Network Project.
The first-generation colorful Satoyama Animal Train that was launched last year included eight different adorable wild animal species on its carriages, accompanying the children on their journeys and becoming the most popular painted train with the public. This year, four types of ecosystems have been painted across eight carriages on the “Satoyama Animal Train 2.0”. It assembled over a hundred indigenous Satoyama wildlife species inside and outside the carriages, while the LCD screens in each carriage played a collection of ecological films. The Forestry Bureau also specially transformed the second carriage into a “Mystery Carriage”, where ingenious environmental installations are set up for passengers to experience the natural environment of Satoyama as if they were there in person. The Forestry Bureau hopes that through the painted train, the animals of Satoyama will become a part of people's daily life so that the public will pay more attention to ecological conservation.
The Satoyama Animal Train will officially join the Taiwan Railways Administration's local train service starting from June 5th. In the future, it will mainly travel the Western Lines from Keelung to Chiayi, and Houli to Chaozhou. It will also cooperate with the various Satoyama activities organized by the Forestry Bureau this year. If opportunity arises, services will be added on for the Hualien-Taitung region.
The inaugural journey of the Satoyama Animal Train 2.0 will be going south, departing from Nangang train station to Tongxiao. The participating tour groups will be visiting Fong Shu Village and the animal passageway at Miaoli County Road No. 29. The low-altitude hills of Miaoli have the most stable distribution and habitat for the indigenous leopard cat population in Taiwan. The “Fong Shu Wo Leopard Cat Rice”, which is cultivated in an eco-friendly method, is the best-implemented model of the Satoyama Initiative. The Miaoli County Road No. 29 is a key location where the leopard cat population of Miaoli passes to go to the low-altitude mountain eco-corridors of Houlong Township, Zaoqiao Township, and Xihu Township. With the subsidy of the National Green Network Project, the first county and village road version of “wildlife passageway” in Miaoli County was successfully launched, improving the leopard cat roadkill situation for this section of the road.
The TRA said that the Satoyama Animal Train 2.0 had an early launch to cooperate with the Taiwan Railway 132nd anniversary celebration. The TRA issued 1,000 sets of limited-edition commemorative tickets to be sold at the Nangang station for the public to add to their collection. In the future, the Forestry Bureau will continue to maintain the popularity of the Satoyama Animal Train, related cultural-creative merchandise will be launched at the Taiwan Railway Shop so that passengers interested in the Satoyama Animal Train will be able to influence more people by not only riding the train, but also through collecting these heartwarming and practical Satoyama animal concept products. In addition, it will deepen the public’s understanding and support of the national biodiversity safety network for “mountains, rivers, plains, and sea” across the country.
The Forestry Bureau said that the information on the schedule of the Satoyama Animal Train will be announced from time to time on the “Forestry Bureau - TW Forest” Facebook fan page, and the related activity information can also be found on the “Satoyama Animal Train official website”. When waiting on the train platform, you can scan the QR code on each carriage's exterior and enter the dedicated webpage to learn about each type of animals from Satoyama and enrich your knowledge.
※ News and Knowledge
Introduction of the Satoyama Ecosystem
  1. Secondary Forest
A secondary forest refers to a forest ecosystem that has gradually regrown over a number of years after the original natural and stable forest has been destroyed by fire or manmade destruction such as logging. The mountainous areas near the low-altitude mountain settlements in Taiwan are mostly secondary forests, where it is easily accessible to human disturbance. In the early days, people's lives were closely interdependent with secondary forests. The appropriate use of forest resources contributed to the renewal of forests and a rich biodiversity.
Commonly seen secondary forest wildlife include the Reeves's muntjac, macaques, masked palm civet, and the Taiwan barbet, while currently threatened species include the leopard cat, pangolin, and yellow-margined box turtle.
  1. Stream and River
Taiwan has a unique topography where the mountains extend from the center of the island to the coasts. Many small streams merge into rivers, then flow to the plains, and finally into the ocean. Therefore, rivers are important connecting and interfacing zones between the land and sea ecosystems, as well as important water eco-corridors. A degraded river or stream ecosystem will lead to impacts on the ecological operation of forests, farmlands, wetlands, and coasts.
Commonly seen river species include the blue whistling thrush, Swinhoe's frog, and Taiwan torrent carp. Species that face greater threats to survival, such as migratory fish and horsehair crabs, are often blocked by artificial structures and cannot successfully swim from downstream to the upstream habitat or to reproduce.
  1. Paddy and Wetland
The farmland ecosystem is an ecosystem that is influenced by the interaction between man and nature, in particular, paddy fields and terrace fields are important wetland environments. In addition to having agricultural production value, there is also a wide range of values including biodiversity, water conservation, soil and water conservation, climate regulation, and cultural legacy. However, the long-term use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers has reduced the biodiversity of farmland. The Forestry Bureau promotes the Green Conservation Label eco-friendly farmland project in the hopes that agricultural production and ecological conservation can co-exist and co-prosper, and that the farmlands can once again become a habitat for organisms.
Commonly seen paddy and wetland animals include the cattle egrets, black-crowned night herons, and pond loach, while threatened species include yellow pond turtles, Eastern Asiatic freshwater clams, Ceriagrion melanurum damselfly, and Latham's snipe.
  1. Field Settlement
The landscape of interspersed farmlands and settlements is a common sight in the Taiwanese countryside. People's lives are inseparable from the use of field resources. Common wild plants, such as the Jersey cudweed, is the main ingredient of the Caozaiguo (a type of sweet dough). However, with rapid economic growth, construction and development flooded into the countryside, fertile fields became factories or residential areas, large areas of the fields no longer exist, the biodiversity disappeared, and the rural traditional culture gradually declined.
In the field settlement ecosystem, commonly seen wild animals include the insular mole, light-vented bulbul, sparrows, and barn swallow. Threatened wild animals include the Formosan hare, ring-necked pheasant, and grass owl.
※ For more press conference related photos, please go to: http://bit.ly/2WafC58
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Visit counts:462 Last updated on:2020-08-04