I’m Hazel from Singapore and I had the most wonderful opportunity to be at Toucheng Leisure Farm over the past 2 weeks. I first met Tina and Hunter at a sustainable tourism event in Thailand, and they left a very strong impression on me with their warm hospitality.
If you have been to Singapore, you would know that we are largely a city and have very minimal agricultural activities.
Coming to Toucheng has brought me into a whole different world in terms of the natural environment.
One of the great things about the farm is how it has managed to maintain itself as a great environment for wildlife. Although the farm owns 120 hectares of land, only a small part this mountainous land has been developed, leaving majority of the forest untouched.
This has made it a good study ground for naturalists, and one group of volunteers regularly visit the farm to survey the frog diversity and population.
The survey is done at night and some of the farm guides with keen interest in wildlife also join in the night walk to help out and learn from the volunteers.
On the night walk, I learnt a lot about the species unique to Taiwan and the stories of how some non-native species of plants and wildlife entered Taiwan with colonialists. Nature and history lesson weaved into one night!
During the walk, we took torches and tried to spot frogs along a designated route. Every frog and species we spotted was recorded, along with other interesting observations. The frog survey volunteers will also share its findings and feedback to the farm for mutual learning.
The diversity of natural prey and predators is a good indicator of the ecosystem’s health, and helps to keep the ideal amount of plants and organisms in balance.
We also spotted fireflies which felt really magical in the pitch darkness of the forest. If you happen to be here during summer, join their firefly walks!
Do take the opportunity to immerse in the richness of the farm’s natural environment while you are here!