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Chiayi County employs 'monkey chasers' to protect crops

Chiayi County employs 'monkey chasers' to protect crops

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) Chiayi has recruited and trained seven people to chase monkeys away from farms in the county, which is known to be heavily populated by Formosan macaques. The seven people, selected from a group of more than 30 applicants, will begin work soon in the Gukeng mountains in southern Taiwan, using a tactic of letting off firecrackers, which has proven effective in scaring off the monkeys. It is better to use firecrackers to scare off the farm pests than to erect electric fencing or adopt sterilization as a means of reducing their numbers, the Gukeng Township Administration said. It said the job of "monkey chaser" is more difficult than it may seem and that most of the recruits are elderly farmers, although it also received applications from young people with college degrees. The chasers will start work April 13 at a salary of NT$24,000 (US$770) per month. The Formosan macaque, also known as the Formosan rock monkey, is an indigenous species in Taiwan. It once faced extinction due to human hunting activities and was listed as "precious and rare" and placed under strict protection, in accordance with the 1989 Wildlife Protection Act In 2009, the Formosan macaque population surged to 250,000 in Taiwan, leading the Council of Agriculture to downgrade the species' status to "conserved." (By Chiang Chun-liang and Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-20 10:11 GMT+08:00