Seeking habitats mainly on high mountains, the Mikado pheasant is a rare species of bird endemic to Taiwan.In spite of its fame among international conservationists, the bird has failed to win the care and concern it deserves on this island.
The Yushan National Park Headquarters（YNPH）commissioned Dr. Liu Hsiao-ju from the Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica to conduct a survey on Taiwan's Mikado pheasant and Swinhoe's pheasant population in 1986. In 1989, phofessors Paul Alexander, Chang wan-fu and Caralin Bridgman with Tunghai University were asked to undertake follow-up studies for one year, resulting in the report "A Stusy of the Communities and Behavior of Specific Birds-the Mikado Pheasant. "In July 1991, YNPH's Conservation Section further formed a task force, which conducted the fieldwork on the Mikado pheasant population by means of transmitter tracking. In May 1992, researchers spotted a Mikado Pheasant nest, marking the first major discovery for studies of the rare bird species. This film, shot by ecology photographer WangLi-yen, is a factual account of the whole demanding process.
In order to record the Mikado pheasant's behavior in the wild, the production team went a long way deep into the mountains to have a truthful coverage of the bird over a long period of time. The film took 150 fieldwork days in 13 months to shoot,followed by more than nine months of post-production.The famous record producer Chi Hung-jen was invited to set the film to music, and the distinguished radio announcer Yen Ta-wei served as the narrator. Photographed entirely in the Yushan area, the film offers first-hand information regarding the Mikado pheasant's habits.
With its dark-blue plumage, the male Mikado pheasant possesses an uncommon elegance. The bird takes on an even more mysterious ambience due to its limited numbers and timid nature. Most active early in the morning and at dusk, the Mikado pheasant prefers to move around amidst drizzly conditions. Having a poor ability to fly, the bird stays on the ground most of the time except when sleeping.
The Mikado pheasant is primarily a loner, mainly feeding on flowers fruits, seeds, leaves and a scattering of insects. Generally speaking,the Mikado pheasant is monogamous, mating in spring and autumn. The male plays the role of both suitor and escort while the female often ignores its male partner Their nests are usually secreted beneath huge rocks or fallen trunks and covered with lush thickets.
The female Mikado pheasant generally lays three or four eggs in one batch. Caring for the young is a responsibility delegated solely to the Mikado pheasant mother. Endowed with an ability to mature early, the fledglings begin to follow their mother moving around and seeking food as soon as they come into the world. They gradually become independent after they are two months old.
The Mikado pheasant's habitats have been seriously undermined due to forestry exploitation in the early days and the rapidly booming tourism industry in Taiwan. Luckily, the establishment of the Yushan National Park has given the rare bird species and other wild animals a place to survive. The production of this film highlights YNPH's persistent conservation of the bird. By poducing this documentary, we hope to awaken the people of Taiwan to show more care and concern for the Mikado pheasant, a national treasure.
Supervisor : Pan Li-men
Producer : Yeh Shin-wen / Huang Wan-Shu
Production Consultants : Liu Hsiao-ju Paul Alexander / Chang wan-fu
Screening : Tsai Pai-lu
Photography & Editing : Wang Li-yen
Music : Chi Hung-jen
Narration : Yen Ta-wei
Planning : Hsu Ying-wen / Chu Feng-chih / Chen Lung-sheng
Execution : Chen Tao-cheng
Research Team : Caralin Bridgman Cheng Shu-chi / Chiang Ting-hsiang / Shih Chao-hsiung
Cover Design : Wu Ming-hsun
Back-Cover Picture : Hsu Ying-wen / Caralin Bridgman
Publisher : Yushan National Park Headquarters,
Construction & Planning Administration, Ministry of the Interior 112,Min Sheng Road.Shuili Hsiang, Nantou County Taiwan,R.O.C.
First Edition : November 1992