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Marathon-style bird watching race to feature youth participation
Central News Agency
2014-04-09 09:28 AM
Taipei, April 9 (CNA) This year's international bird watching competition taking place in mountainous central Taiwan will focus on encouraging the younger generation to head out into nature, campaign organizers said. The Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area International Bird Race will focus on a teenage category in the wake of increasing interest from the age group after the category was dropped last year, according to the Chinese Wild Bird Federation. Youth attendance in previous years was so low that it made no sense to maintain a separate category, the federation said, but teenage participation in bird watching events has been on the rise recently, making the re-introduction of the category worth a shot. The federation's instinct was correct, with some 15 teenagers having registered for the competition so far, compared with single digit numbers in previous events. The young bird watchers will have to follow the same competition format as everybody else and try to identify the most number of bird species in a 24-hour time frame. The task may be mentally and physically demanding for the youngsters participating, some of whom will be elementary school students, but many young birders have shown a high level of bird watching skills, said event campaigner Chang Hui-li. There will be a program after the competition that asks young participants to talk about their bird watching experiences and demonstrate their knowledge of birds, Chang said. "We want to find out how young people see bird watching," she said, explaining that it could help the federation better promote the activity. The race will be held between April 25 and 26 in a 3,963-hectare park area that ranges from 1,000 to 2,996 meters above sea level. The park is home to at least 107 bird species in 32 families, including the endemic Mikado Pheasant, the federation said. Registration for the race closes on April 20. Last year, over 150 species of birds were recorded by around 130 participants in 24 hours, according to the federation. For more information, go to http://www.bird.org.tw/das/sign_info/en_sign_info.html (By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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