Last year in March, Taiwan Whistling Thrush sang outside the door in the cold wind, announcing that the land was waking up. White-tailed Blue Robins on the forest floor were also becoming active. In mid-April, a kind of orchid that has no chlorophyll, Gastrodia nipponica
(a native Taiwanese plant), and the biggest prizes of spring — Hundred Pacer (snake) and a Red-banded Snake eating a Cat Snake, were seen. In summer, national treasure Japanese Emperor (butterfly) was seen soaking up the sun, Araneus seminiger
(spider) was observed spinning its web, a Red Belly Kukri Snake was found showing off its beautiful belly patterns, and Grade 1 protected species Maki's Keelback was also spotted. Three alternative military service draftees in the agriculture category, Batch 161, Luodong Forest District Office Lin Che-an, Chuang Chie-an and Chang Hao-chuan said that they will have fond memories of their time serving at Mingchi, a place of ecological richness. They have fulfilled their dream of making ecological observations during their service period.
The draftees were dispatched to the Mingchi Police Post in March 2016. Using their spare time when not on duty, the draftees voluntarily carried out ecological observations along Provincial Highway 7 by day and night, in good and bad weather, even sticking to their posts when Typhoon Megi hit, in the nine months of service from spring to winter seeing many species that are extremely difficult to observe. These rare species included Long Arm Beetle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Maki's Keelback (snake), and a Pareas atayal
snake seen eating a snail. The draftees recorded their observations and made a film that has been posted on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Ktn--dOPk
) to share their experiences with the public. 80% of the film was shot along the Northern Cross-island Highway. Mingchi Police Post is located beside the road and is often visited by wild animals, making it hard not to notice them. In the process of observations, the draftees saw that it is necessary to record and pass on this valuable ecological survey information and that it can, over the long term, make a contribution to ecological research and conservation and can help make the area an important base for ecological and environment education.
The scenery along Provincial Highway 7 is beautiful, the ecology is rich with great biodiversity, and colonies of rare plants and animals that are rarely seen by people in ordinary life or journeys can be observed. Only through long-term careful observations of the ecological environment can the wonders of the forest be appreciated. The Forestry Bureau reminds everyone that protecting the ecological environment begins with our own actions and calls on everyone to work together to protect natural resources and love and protect the forest environment so that biodiversity is maintained.