The number of endangered black-faced spoonbills spotted in Taiwan is increasing, with members of the Wild Bird Society of Tainan and other conservation groups counting 819 of the birds in Tainan County, an increase of 78 from last year.
The census was conducted at the request of BirdLife International as part of a global census on the population of the rare birds that also included Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
The global figure is expected to be released in the next week.
In 2005, an international census on the birds recorded 1,475 individuals, a 22 percent increase over 2004, with the numbers on the main wintering grounds in Taiwan and Hong Kong up by 20 percent.
The global total of black-faced spoonbills has recovered steadily since 1990 when only 294 birds were counted. By 2003, the population had risen to more than 1,000 birds.
In 2005, more than half the world population, or 757 birds, wintered in Taiwan, with 632 of them spotted in the Chiku-Tsengwen estuary in Tainan County, southern Taiwan.