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Research Achievements

Research Achievements

a. Wild Fauna Inventory

From 1992 to 2008, the ESRI has completed an island-wide inventory of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes and butterflies of each county and metropolitan area and has accumulated more than 120,000 records regarding to the species list, their distribution and ecological habits in each region. Furthermore, researchers have to date collected some 27,318 specimens, including 3,328 mammal, 6,410 bird, 671 reptile, 505 amphibian, 261 freshwater fish, 14,136 insect, and 2,277 gastropod specimens.

b. Rare and Endemic Species Research and Surveys

ESRI has studied bats, Formosan macaque (Macaca cyclopis), Formosan black bear (Ursus thibetanus formosanus), Formosan gem-faced civet (Paguma larvata taivana), Formosan hare (Lepus sinensis formosus), Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Formosan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei), in terms of their distributions, relative abundance, activity patterns, reproductive physiology, behavior, and population dynamics. In recent years, ESRI has also discovered many new species or new records of bat in Taiwan, including the Eastern barbastelle Barbastella leucomelas. The Institute has also completed ecological studies of endemic birds,such as the Mikado pheasant Syrmaticus mikado, Steere’s liocichla Liocichla steerii, Accipiters, Taiwan hwamei (Garrulax taewanus), tits, and others. Conservation work has been undertaken on rare species like the Fairy pitta (Pitta nympha) and the Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor). This research resulted in the development of the play-back survey method as an accurate means of investigating Fairy pitta population numbers. In addition, ESRI, for the first time in 140 years, found the nesting sites of the Taiwan sibia (Heterophasia auricularis) and proposed that the Taiwan halamei (Garrulax taewanus) be listed as an endemic species. ESRI has also conducted research on the distributions, diets, habitat characteristics, and reproductive behavior of amphibian and reptile species including the Golden-lined or Green pond frog (Rana plancyi), the Farmland green tree frog (Rhacophorus arvalis), Sonani’s salamander (Hynobius sonani), and the Coastal or Mangrove skink (Emoia atrocostata). Work on population monitoring and management has also been undertaken. The distributions and biologies of rare and endemic freshwater fishes like the Deep-body shovelnose minnow (Varicorhinus alticorpus), the Ray-finned fish (Sinogastromyzon puliensis), Pararasbora moltrechti and Acrossacheilus paradoxus has been well studied. ESRI has also established techniques for the restoration of native freshwater fish species. In the cases of the Birdwing butterfly (Troides magellanus), the Highland red-belly swallowtail butterfly (Atrophaneura horishana) and other endemic butterflies, ESRI has conducted research to understand their biologies and to set up restoration methods. A proposed conservation strategy for the Birdwing butterfly (Troides magellanus) was discussed ESRI has undertaken basic biological studies of dragonflies and fireflies, both terrestrial and aquatic. Finally, ESRI has also involved in researches concerning large invertebrate such as land snails.

c. Genetic Diversity Research and Applications

ESRI has begun a cryobanking project on collecting wild animal genetic materials for taxonomic and genetic research. As of the present, the Institute has conducted population genetic studies on the Formosan striped squirrel (Tamiops maritimus formosanus), the Grey-cheeked fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia), the Yellowish-bellied bush-warbler (Cettia acanthizoides concolor), and Steere’s liocichla (Liocichla steerii). Genetic materials, including tissue and blood samples, from other rare or endemic species are also preserved in the cryobank of ESRI.

d. Exotic Invasive Species and Ecological

Engineering Research

ESRI has also conducted inventory, monitoring and prevention method research for the following exotic species: Giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes), Common sun skink (Mabuya multifasciata), Golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei), Mynas and Starlings (Sturnidae), White-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus), etc. and has established relevant risk assessment systems. In addition, ESRI has also undertaken studies on the life cycles of species during periods of construction and engineering work and has set up monitoring sites for comparing changes before and after ecological engineering work.

Formosan black bear(Ursus thibetanus formosanus)(by Yang Chien-Chung)
Formosan black bear( Ursus thibetanus formosanus )(by Yang Chien-Chung)

Breeding experiment on captive Formosan black bears(Ursus thibetanus formosanus)(by Ho Tung-Chi)
Breeding experiment on captive Formosan black bears( Ursus thibetanus formosanus )(by Ho Tung-Chi)

Leopard cat(Prionailarus bengalensis bengalensis)(by Liu Jian-Nan)
Leopard cat(Prionailarus bengalensis bengalensis)(by Liu Jian-Nan)

Fairy pitta(Pitta nympha)(by Huang Siou-Jhen)
Fairy pitta(Pitta nympha)(by Huang Siou-Jhen)

Black-faced spoonbill(Platalea minor)(by Huang Siou-Jhen)
Black-faced spoonbill( Platalea minor )(by Huang Siou-Jhen)

Green pond frog, Golden-lined frog(Rana plancyi)(by Chen Wan-Ting)
Green pond frog, Golden-lined frog(Rana plancyi)(by Chen Wan-Ting)

Red-headed tit, Black-throated tit(Aegithalos concinnus concinnus(Gould))(by Huang Shu-Fen)
Red-headed tit, Black-throated tit(Aegithalos concinnus concinnus(Gould))(by Huang Shu-Fen)

 
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