Birders organize to protect Seal Rock on Taiwan’s north coast

Members of Keelung Wild Bird Association worry tourists will ruin seal-shaped rock

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Seal Rock (Keelung Wild Bird Association photo)

Seal Rock (Keelung Wild Bird Association photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A local birding association has recently taken it upon itself to protect Seal Rock off the coast of Keelung City's Badouzhi after the city government ignored the association's petition to designate the rock a "natural monument."

Seal Rock has become a popular destination for visitors. However, due to a lack of administration, tourists climbing all over the rock to take photos is a common sight.

Concerned about the rock being spoiled by reckless tourists, the Keelung Wild Bird Association (基隆鳥會) filed a petition to the city government, pleading for the unique rock to be designated a natural monument, per CNA.

However, as the petition went unheeded, the association said that it will take money out of its own pocket to protect the rock. The association also said that it will write a letter to the city government to ask about how the petition is being processed, hoping that the government will provide a legal base for the protection of the rock.

Keelung City Government Spokesperson Shen Yung-pei (沈詠珮) told CNA that the city government has been studying measures to protect and preserve natural wonders.

Keelung Wild Bird Association Chairperson Cheng Wei (鄭暐) said that the association will appropriate NT$50,000 (US$1,667) to hire local residents to guard the rock, beginning Thursday (July 16). The eager residents will provide tourists with tide timetables, hand out leaflets, and discourage any touching of the rock.