They paved paradise, put up a parking lot

From an article in the latest issue of Taipei Journal.

File under “typical.”

In fairness, though, the bulk of the article is about how people are now trying to save Taiwan’s butterflies.


I’ve noticed a marked decrease in the number of butterflies fluttering around in the warmer months. There used to be so many of them up in the mountains where I like to go hiking and swimming. When I went river-tracing in sunny weather, took off my wet shoes and put them on a rock, they’d quickly be covered in butterflies sucking up the moisture (and peeing it out in little spurts at the other end). But now my wet shoes can barely attract even one or two flutterbies – I hope the others weren’t poisoned by drinking from my footwear – and there are far fewer of them flying around.

One thing that makes me despair is the all-too-common sight of kids wielding butterfly nets, generally with the enthusiastic approval of accompanying adults who should know better. Why can’t people just enjoy looking at these wonderful creatures flying around freely? Why the need to catch and contain, and even kill and impale them? I’d like to do the same to some of the catchers.

This reminds me of what my colleague says is an old Taiwanese proverb

‘they said by the time you put two pieces of bread together for a sandwich there would be so many butterflies it woud be full of them’ or something like that

I have seen amazing amounts of butterflies on some of my hikes in taoyuan county and around Hualien so they are not all dead, but I don
t know what it was like in the ‘old’ days. If the butterflies disappeared I think a prime culprit would be spraying of insecticides, perhaps related to Betelnut farming.

Here is a similar story.

If anyone knows anything about frogs they probably know that frog populations around the world are in decline, probably because of infection by chytrid fungus.

Scientists have had trouble explaining this worldwide phenomena. Global warming, habitat destruction, pesticide residues, etc. have all been postulated as reasons for the frog deaths. But even in wilderness areas where there is very little human interference frogs are dying. Another theory is that the common link between frogs around the world is researchers who travel around the world catching and studying frogs and the researchers themselves might be the ones responsible for spreading the fungus. (It’s only a theory, not proven).

For more about frogs have a look at: WWF Australia Frogs Program