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Danshuei River Mangrove Nature Reserve

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Information

Date of Proclamation June 27, 1986
Size of Area (ha) 76.41
Primary Object for Protection Shuei-bi-zhai (mangrove)
Scope of Administration Danshui River Coastal Scenery – Chuwei / Taipei County
Authority in-charge-of Luodong Forest District Office

Origin

Found at the convergence Danshui and Keelung River, in the neighborhood of Chuwei section, lot of Kandelia obovata can be seen, a rare mangrove forest. It is what we call the red forest plant, usually located between the crossing of fresh and salt waters. Alongside, are of crabs, fishes, shrimps, and aquatic birds, forming marshland ecosystems. In the past, since there were no preventive measures, it was oftentimes occupied illegally, and there was even dumping of trash, and soil creating caused serious deterioration of water quality deterioration and so as the eco-environment. In view of it, the area was rezoned within the jurisdiction of Security Forest Management Law in 1985. The Council on Agriculture officiated the area as “Danshuei River Mangrove Nature Reserve” in June 1986 according to the Cultural Heritage Reservation Act to ensure the continuation of mangrove.

The area is located at the north-west of the city, and south-west of the Guang0du plain, being a typical river-mouth wetland. Local scenery transformed tremendously in the last 300 years. According to records, it is a large piece of waters in early Qing Dynasty (1700 A.D), and during Emperor Kuang-Shu’s time it was developed into farmland, and remained so until 1965. As of frequent floods, the government began to construct embankment in 1968 to prevent floods; however, farmland beyond the embankment was deserted later on. With the rezoning of Danshui River, sinking of Taipei basin, sand pumping of Danshui River, and backwash of sea-water and others, the area ends up as a piece of marshland.

Earlier vegetations growing in mud beaches are cyperus malaccenis lam reed, interwoven to become became perfect rest and breeding grounds for migratory birds. During season of migration, great numbers arrive for rest in winter, and it is one of the most essential bird watching areas in northern Taiwan. The Council of Agriculture officiated the area as “Guang-du Natural Reservation Zone” in June 1986, the 55 hectares of marshland south of the embankment. . Since its proclamation into a reserve, there have been lot of changes, and in the span of twenty years, it turns into marshland later on, finally to the current mangrove, where a great number of life feed on and take residence.

Location

The area is located at the north of Danshui River in Danshui Township, Taipei County, and sits within Gen Jen lane. It is about 5 km from the river mouth. As one travels from No. 2 provincial highway to Chuwei, then 1km to the west of Yingge Bridge, the parameter runs complete. The area totals 76.10 hectares, and it is of the protectionforest within the jurisdiction of Luodong Forestry Administration. During high tides, 2/3 of area emerges under water; during low tides, a stream runs through the area.

From Taipei, one can head for the direction of Danshui, and approach Chuwei elementary school via Taipei-Danshui highway. As one walks towards Danshui River, the reserve would be in sight.

An Introduction

The area is near sea with strong winds, with annual average temperature at 22.2℃. The altitude above sea level is 0-10 m, and there is no apparent drought. The population of Shuei-bi-zhai amounts of 53% of the area, others categories include Clerodendrum inerme (L.) Gaertn, reed type, Cogongrass type, and Sporbolus hancei. And according to investigation, a total of 11 families & 21 species of Vascular bundle plants like chrysanthemum, orchards, rattan, apricot, etc can be found, most grown saline or tidal land.

Saline content of water changes a lot during tides exchange as it sits between river and ocean. Scrub mangrove intercepts organic materials or trash from the upper stream of Danshui River or bio life forms, which when rotten turns into food for fishes, shrimps, and crabs. In addition, the area happens to be on route of migratory birds to the northeast. As a result, large population of migratory birds are found, also present around 63 species in all, lsnipes, kingfishers, egrets, herons, and water ducks are often seen.

The soil stratum within Guang-du plain is of Pleistocene Epoch breccia at the north and Miocene Epoch rocks to the south., while Chinshan fault passes by at the north-west. There is no great variation in heights, which run lower from north to south-west, and so as the water flow. At the southern of the embankment is swampland with most vegetations emerged under water in high tides while only tree top of mangrove forest can be see. In low tides, mud beaches appear. After devastation in 1980, after strict conservation, mangrove forest has grown from 20 to 40 hectares, being the largest and most complete of mangrove forest in Taiwan.

Biological Resources

The area is made up mainly of mangrove, cyperus malaccenis lam, and reed as well as mudskipper, and crabs. Since more than 2/3 of total area would be under seawater during high tides, mangrove turn out to become the primary plantation as the saline content of water becomes cyclic. Since mangrove is of evergreen vegetation, its root gets into slate root, and many aerial branches from the trunk help support its root, which can serve as soil consolidator, tide breaker and nurse. The amount of total shuei-bi-zhai amounts to 40% of local vegetations, being the primary plant of the area. Others plant communities are Clerodendrum inerme (L.) Gaertn, reed type, Cogongrass type, and Sporbolus hancei. And according to investigation, there are as many as 21 kinds of others are reed & cogon grass Vascular bundle plants.

Mangrove forest vegetations:

Only shuei-bi-zhai (Kandelia obovata) grows in marshland outside of the embankment. Reed is the accompany plant, which can be found and at the marshland outside the embankment, while congon grass can be found within. Other greenery is reed, millets, cattails, and cyperus malaccenis lam.

The environment is for growth of life, plenty of fishes and invertebrates are found attracted to it. Lots of migratory birds visit the area, as man as more than like snipes, kingfishers, egrets, and etc can be found.

Species of birds:

September to May is spring-chasing season for wild goose ducks, egrets, snipes and gulls, while snipes has the largest gathering and various species amongst all birds. High season is from September to October and March to May, which are the best bird watching periods. Birds under protections include: magpies, sparrow hawks, vultures, eagles, ospreys, pheasants, jacanas, snipes, terns, babblers, falcons, gulls, herons, mallards, ducks, turtledoves, and swallows.

Crabs:

Wetlands near the embankment have the largest population of crab.

Fishes:

Beneath the embankment after passing the bridge, one can find traces of mudskippers.

Conservation Results Till Now

Mangrove is of the world-renown viviparous plant, and its habitat, being so extensive in area, is the largest one in the world. Since it converges at the river and ocean, it functions to consolidate soil, tide break, and homeland security. While mudskipper, mangrove, and crab, and birds form such typical and large variations of ecosystems, acting as a rich environment for rare, and rich conservation for educational and scientific research. Therefore, the government has, by law, codified this area as protection forest, according to security forest management law ?. Furthermore, the Council of Agriculture has proclaimed this area as Nature Reserve according to Cultural Heritage Reservation Act in 1986, endowing it with more stringent legal protection.

Recent trespasses by nearby landowners, trash and waste soil dumping from upper stream of Danshui River, illegal fishing activities by locals passing of the MRT line have imposed serious threats. Local authorities finally set up barriers, separating private and public land, while regular patrols are conducted. Reinforced communication with locals is done obtain their understanding and support, and at least three“external classroom” sessions are planned a year to gather public’s care and enthusiasm for preservation of area. For the time being, a red forest ecology conservation hall near Red Forest MRT Station is underway, and the object of the external classroom is of parent, children, elementary and high school students and teachers. It is anticipated that all of our people will cherish this precious natural environment, and take part in the conservation on their own.

Guard stations are not available, though warning sign has been put up . Fences are set up at certain areas, especially the chicken wire fences separating MRT line & zone. Regular patrols are conducted, as well as periodical “exterior classrooms” sessions are planned. In addition, guided tour to the red forest ecology will be conducted at least trice a year.

Since preventive measures are, repeated trespassing, fishing, bird catching, trash pollution, waste soil dumping are very serious. Pressure from tourists is also mounting; while impact from MRT line passage waits to be assessed.

Guard stations must be set up, with special staff assigned. Reinforced conservation education is also needed to expand locals’ view & opinion. Consensus of public preservation consensus must be obtained, and full participation of the general pubic will be a must. If guided tour of the red forest can be utilized, it will mobilize all of the people to take part in the conservation.
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Visit counts:2450 Last updated on:2017-02-02