Black faced spoonbill (Platalea minor)
The Tsai Ing-wen government’s policies of covering wetlands with solar panels 濕地種電 and salt bays 鹽灘 are forcing Taiwan’s black faced spoonbills 黑面琵鹭 to find other habitats.
The Tsai Ing-wen government plans to cover 8,604 hectares (86 square kilometers) of wetlands at Chigu in Tainan with solar panels. This is the traditional habitat of wintering black faced spoonbills. In 20 years, there will be over 2,000 spent solar panels weighing 400,000 tons as debris.
In 2018, black faced spoonbills wintered in the salt bay wetlands in Budai town in Chiayi county. But the Tsai Ing-wen government plans to cover 102 hectares of the wetlands with solar panels. Scholars fear that this will cause the black faced spoonbills to disappear.
Taiwan had 2601 black faced spoonbills in 2017, 2195 in 2018, and 2407 in 2019. There were 1804 black faced spoonbills in Tainan in 2017, 1569 in 2018, and 1572 in 2019.
The Chinese mainland had 433 black faced spoonbills in 2017, 744 in 2018, and 990 in 2019. Japan had 397 black faced spoonbills in 2017, 508 in 2018 and 538 in 2019.
Globally, there were 3941 black faced spoonbills in 2017, 3941 in 2018 and 4463 in 2019.