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Apr 06, 2021

The UMC Eco Echo Award Highlights the Issue of Bird-Glass Collisions, Supporting Bird-Friendly Research Projects for Two Consecutive Years

UMC launched the "Eco Echo Award" in 2016 to support ecological conservation actions. The award has been widely supported by the business community. Starting from the third year, the total prize money of the award reached NT$ 3 million, which is biggest award to support ecological conservation projects in Taiwan. In the past five years, 30 ecological conservation projects and youth environmental action initiatives have been implemented across Taiwan. Among the projects, the Eco Echo Award brought attention to the issue of bird-glass collisions since 2019, supporting bird-friendly research projects for two consecutive years.

The Raptor Research Group of Taiwan was established in 1994 with the purpose of "Gathering people who love raptors to discuss their knowledge about them, promote research and conservation of raptors, and oppose hunting, domestication, destruction of habitats and any other forms of behavior that endanger the ecology of raptors." In 2019, the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan proposed the “Invisible Glass Trap-Investigation of Wild Bird Killing by Glass Collisions in the Northern Region of Taiwan and the Promotion of Bird-Friendly Glass” project, which was awarded for the first time. In 2020, the area of investigation was expanded throughout Taiwan. The project was again favored by the reviewers, winning the Eco Echo Award for two consecutive years.

The issue of bird-glass collisions is highly concerning in many countries. In the United States, an average of 500 million wild birds die from hitting glass each year. Some countries in Europe and America even include bird-friendly glass in the regulations for green building. However, such issues are rarely discussed in Taiwan. New buildings often have large areas of glass, which is invisible to birds. This may cause them to strike the glass, leading to bird injuries or even deaths. In addition to investigating the incidents of wild birds striking glass in the Greater Taipei Area, the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan also implemented education to promote the idea of "bird-friendly glass," hoping to raise the awareness of the general public, communities, enterprises and the government on bird-glass collision issues and eventually incorporate bird-friendly glass into the regulations for green building.

Field Investigation and Study
The Raptor Research Group of Taiwan established the "Wild Birds Glass Collision Report" group in March 2019. There are more than 1,000 members in the group. In 2020, there were nearly two hundred field investigations on the death of birds due to glass collisions, including many protected bird species such as Crested Goshawk.

Education and Promotion
The area of promotion includes the hot spots of bird-glass collision incidents in Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taoyuan City. In addition, the education on bird-friendly glass and promotion workshops were held in communities, wild bird societies, schools, government agencies, and companies. The educational courses include introduction to bird-glass collision, concept of bird-friendly glass, improvement case sharing, improvement of glass to prevent wild bird strikes, etc., training local volunteers to investigate incidents of bird-glass collisions in northern Taiwan through citizen science. In this project, 30 educational training sessions were completed.

Helping Improve Buildings with High Risk of Bird-Glass Collision
The project also provided assistance in improving buildings with high risk of bird-glass collisions. The completed cases include the glass windows of the Zhishan Cultural and Ecological Garden (Zhishan Exhibition Hall), the rest room glass windows in Beitou Fuxing Park, the large glass window of Dharma Drum Sangha University, the glass curtain at Penghu Dong-Ji Islet Tourist Information Center, and the viewing window of the Mangrove Ecocenter, Shih-Liang International Conference Center of National Taiwan University.

More information about Eco Echo Award projects: https://ecoechoaward.com/

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Volunteer training course for preventing bird-glass collision

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Participants making bird specimens in the bird-glass collision seminar

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Visiting elementary school to carry out educational courses and promotion on the prevention of bird-glass collision

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Using glass collision-prevention stickers to improve the glass window of Zhishan Cultural and Ecological Garden

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Improving the glass window of washroom in Beitou Fuxing Park

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Using outdoor curtains to improve the viewing window of Mangrove Ecocenter