“The stars glittering on the tree are the eyes of the flying squirrels,” the slogan on the Dingbenzai Cultural Association’s poster reflects Dingbenzai residents’ thoughts and feelings towards flying squirrels.
Flying Squirrel Paradise is an ecological record produced by Taiwan Original Vision Communication CO., LTD., monitored by Dingbenzai Cultural Association and Council of Agriculture, and published in 2011. The film records the process of a traditional hunting community turning into an ecological one. Following the introduction of the forest protector, Liu, Jia-Xian, we can take a look at white-faced flying squirrels(Petaurista Alborufus Lena) in Mt. Niu.
In the last part of the film, Lin, Chih-Kang, a graduate student in Taiwan Normal University, explains the body structure and principles of how flying squirrels fly . The film also records the process of Lin and Dingbenzai residents building nest boxes. With the cooperation between academy and local residents, Lin expects to unveil the secret of Formosan hairy-footed flying squirrels (Belomys Pearsoni Kaleensis) that are the hardest flying squirrels to observe.
In the past, the research about flying squirrels was rare and the documentaries about them were limited. However, due to the fact that Dingbenzai is abundant in broad-leaved forests where flying squirrels and other species love to inhabit, and local hunters turn into ardent patrols, Dingbenzai becomes an area of the highest density of flying squirrels in Taiwan.
After converting into a forest guarder from a hunter, Liu uses his tracking skills to guide the film group to capture the life of the flying squirrels. Furthermore, Lin, the graduate student, uses high-tech equipments, such as infrared auto camera and wireless tracing system, to record the courtship behaviour and mating of flying squirrels.
For praising the residents’ effort to preserve the rich species in the community, National Council for Sustainable Development designated Dingbenzai as an annual best ecotourism site in 2008. Let’s enjoy and experience the beautiful adventure!