Temples in an area of northeastern Taiwan's Yilan City have been asked by the city government to tone down religious ceremonies and events, so as not to scare away a Siberian crane that accidentally migrated to the area.
Yilan Mayor Chiang Tsung-yuan (???), who has been coordinating with local temples over the request, said the city is doing its best to ensure the crane is not disturbed.
To that end, nearby temples have been asked to stop ringing bells and lighting firecrackers, while local residents are advised not to set off fireworks during upcoming festive holidays such as New Year's Eve and the Lunar New Year, Chiang said.
Meanwhile, billboards have been set up next to the rice paddy the bird has made home to caution passersby about making noise, with farmers asked to suspend the use of pesticide, he said.
A city neighborhood patrol team is also closely tracking the bird and keeping a record of its movement, according to the mayor.
Officials from Yen Ping Kai Shing Temple, which is closest to the spot the crane has made its own, have agreed to comply with the request and said they have turned their parking lot into a bird-watching area.
"We will try to keep quiet as much as possible until the crane leaves," an official surnamed Lai (?) told CNA.
The presence of the rare bird -- listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List -- immediately drew attention when it arrived in the area a month ago.
The migratory bird belongs to the Gruidae family, is indigenous to eastern Russia and migrates to Boyang Lake in central China for the winter. However, its overwintering habitat has been damaged as a result of work to build the Three Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River.
This is the second time a Siberian crane has been reported in Taiwan, well outside its normal migratory range, following the appearance of one in New Taipei in 2014. The two birds are not the same one, experts have confirmed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel