Invasive crazy ants threaten ecology, traditional customs on Orchid Island

Ecologists are warning that yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) have been found to be already established on Orchid Island, threatening a local species of land crab, and cultural workers say it could also affect important traditional customs of the indigenous Tao people. Professor Lin Chung-chi, an ecologist from the biology department at National Changhua Normal University recently led a team of students and researchers to the island, and found that the crazy ants are already established on the island. The

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Miaoli County farmers create field painting for Mother’s Day

Farmers in Yuanli Township in Miaoli County have created a rice field “painting” dedicated to mothers ahead of Mother’s Day, and it will last to early July, the Yuanli Township Farmers’ Association says. The rice isn’t actually painted, the association pointed out, but rather is created by using five different varieties of rice producing different colors. A viewing platform was constructed, and opened in mid-April, and the peak viewing season will be from May to early July. The association has

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Bunun warriors fire 25-gun salute to fallen ancestors on April 25

Members of the Bunun ethnic indigenous people in Zhuoxi Township, Hualien County fired a 25-gun salute at the opening of an annual ceremony, linking generations from the past, to the present, and into the future today, April 25. The 25 shots fired from the hunter’s guns represented 23 Bunun men who were executed in the Dafen Incident, in 1915, when Japanese authorities attempted to confiscate the hunting rifles that the tribe were dependent on to survive; and two men who

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Huge crowds join annual religious procession on first day of Mazu pilgrimage.

After last year’s postponement and reduced numbers due to fear of a novel coronavirus epidemic, the first day of this year’s annual Dajia Mazu pilgrimage saw an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people packed into the streets of Changhua County. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Yuan Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) went to Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung City Friday afternoon

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Austronesian youth from 9 nations will join Taiwanese indigenous people at this years National Indigenous Games

Twenty-one people from nine Austronesian nations will compete in traditional sports events with local indigenous athletes at this year’s biennial National Indigenous Games, which kick off tomorrow, March 19, in Yilan County. It is the first time international athletes have participated in traditional Austronesian sports events that will run alongside the official national athletic competitions. Austronesian Youth United will hold three traditional sports competitions, including traditional archery, wood-sawing, and weight carrying. Countries represented in the games include the Marshall Islands,

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Taiwanese actor Wu Pong-fong dies at 55

Pong-fong Wu (吳朋奉) , a veteran stage, television, and film actor was found dead in his home after suffering a stroke, Sunday, May 25. Wu was described as a veteran actor in English language reports, and a Film Emperor in the Chinese language press. Wu, who has 56 film and television credits on IMDb was a hard working actor who played many supporting roles until he came into the public spotlight with a best supporting actor award at the 2010

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Longshan Temple to ban incense burning by visitors in bid to reduce pollution

The 281-year-old Longshan Temple in Taipei City’s Wanhua District will ban visitors from burning incense at the temple in a bid to reduce pollution generated by the thousands of pilgrims and tourist who visit the site daily. Temple authorities will cease providing incense to visitors and will forbid people from bringing incense sticks from outside starting March 13. While reducing, and eventually eliminating the burning of incense has been a long-term goal of temple authorities, the decision to implement the

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Researchers plan to row from Taiwan to Japan in dug-out canoe to prove migration theory

A team of Japanese researchers will attempt to row a dugout canoe from Taiwan’s east coast to Yonaguni Island, Japan, to try to understand how people migrated from Taiwan to Okinawa more than 30,000 years ago. This year’s attempt comes after previous experiments using boats made from reeds, and bamboo, failed. Japan’s National Museum of Science and nature launched the project in 2016, and attempted to sail a boat made of cattail reeds from Iriomote Island to Yonaguni Island. At

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President rings in the New Year with a good wish for the world

[Picture: Office of the President.] President Tsai Ing-wen attended the New Year’s eve bell-ringing and blessing ceremony at the Dharma Drum Mountain Fahua Bell Tower yesterday evening, February 4, noting that Dharma Drum Mountain’s theme for this year is “good wishes for the human world.” President Tsai prayed with the people for the country’s peace and prosperity, and said she would continue to strive for Taiwan’s progress and development. The Dharma Drum bell ringing ceremony was held at the Fuhua

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Serial Slasher Slashes Woman 7 Days after Prison Release

A man who slashed a woman with a utility knife in an attempted robbery in Taipei City last month had been released from prison only 7 days before, and had returned to the scene of his previous crime to carry out the offense. Prosecutors today ordered that Hu Tong-wen, 58, remain in detention, as he had no fixed abode, and in the light of his criminal history, had a high risk of absconding and re-offending. On November 25, Hu stole

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Rediscovered Map Sheds Light on Taiwan’s first Town

Dutch scholars joined researchers from Academia Sinica at a press conference today to unveil a cadastral map of the township of Zeelandia dating back to the Dutch colonial period. Menno Leenstra, a researcher at the Dutch International Heritage Center said that he had stumbled across the map while doing research on the extinct dodo bird three years ago. The map was among documents belonging to the head of the Dutch East India Company, Nicasius de Hooghe. De Hoogue had been

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