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Projects of the Insititute of Critical Zoologists.

The Institute of Critical Zoologists has a wide variety of projects involving scientists, zoologists, conservationists, artists and various organisations. All our projects aim to improve the practice of zoology and contribute conceptual advances to our knowledge and understanding of zoological studies.


A hybrid of the Chinese Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythroryncha) and Taiwan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea), 2018

In 2002, a Chinese blue magpie, whose native range is in the Western Himalayas, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, was spotted in Wuling Farm in Heping Township, Taichung County. It is believed to have escaped from a private enclosure. By 2006, 10 individuals were spotted in the vicinity.

Some scientists were concerned that this species might threaten the survival of the native Taiwan blue magpie. The two species were believed to be from the same family that branched off several million years ago. Now they have slight differences: the red-billed blue magpie has red eyes, a white neck and chest, while the blue magpie has yellow eyes, a black neck and blue chest.

When it was discovered that the two species were interbreeding, scientists were worried that this would further threaten the survival of the native blue magpie and contaminate its unique genes. In 2007, a removal plan of the Chinese blue magpie was launched and the population of the invasive species was successfully controlled.

From the series, A Guide to the Fauna of Taiwan, commissioned by the 2018 Taipei Biennale, 'Post-Nature - A museum as an ecosystem'.


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