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Chuyunshan Nature Reserve

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Information

Date of Proclamation March 12, 1992
Size of Area (ha) 6,248.74
Primary Object for Protection Broadleaved trees, natural coniferous forests, rare animals and plants, forest streams, and fresh water fish.
Scope of Administration No. 22-37 forest squad of Launong Stream business area, Working Circle, within 100 meters to the north and south-west Malishan Stream and the south and south-east of Jhukou Stream
Authority in-charge-of Pingtung Forest District Office

Origin

Chuyunshan Nature Reserve is located within Pingtung Forest District, encompassing an area of 6,248.74 hectares, with original broadleaved forest on the slope as one of the most valuable natural resources. The mountainous area is covered in clouds and mist year round, only the peak is visible, and it is thus given the name Chuyunshan (meaning “the mountain out of the clouds”). The neighboring area is found with spectacular scenery, with well-preserved forests, and there is a luxuriant original broadleaved forest in the middle-low altitudes. Within the forest, there are plentiful natural resources, and some are endangered or rare species.

To maintain the natural habitat of wild animals and protect the endangered and rare species of animals and plants, the Forestry Bureau has declared this area as the “Chuyunshan Forest Reserve, ” in the hope to protect Syrmaticus mikado and the Lophura swinhoii in the reserve, and it was the earliest forest reserves among national forest in the country. On 12 March 1992, the Council of Agriculture proclaimed this area as “Chuyunshan Nature Reserve” for the protection of natural coniferous forests, rare animals and plants, forest streams, and freshwater fish in the area. It is an important middle-low altitude nature reserve in southern Taiwan.

Location

The reserve is located within Taoyuan and Maolin Vilalge of Kaohsiung County, and is approximately 78 km away from Liouguei. It is under the jurisdiction of No. 22-37, No. 60, and No. 62-64 compartment of Launong Stream working circle. The locality lies within 100 m to the north and south-west of Malishan Stream and the south and south-east of Jhukou Stream. The total area is 6,248.74 hectares, with its altitude running from 400 ~ 2,772m. Malishan and Wanshan (Jhukou) streams pass through this area, and are important water catchment area for Launong stream. Besides the Chuyunshan (2,772m), a part of the Central Range, other important mountain systems are Dengjhihlaishan (1,863m), Sinjishan (1,557m), and Donglaishan (1,845m), etc.

The main access to the reserve is Chuyunshan forest trail. If one drives from Liouguei  Township in Kaohsiung County in dry season, cars may reach as far as Yenping forest range in Taitung County. Forrainy season, one could only reach the old nursery area of No. 34 compartment as of poor forest road condition, and access is restricted to maintain the resources of the reserve.

An Introduction

The altitude of the area around Chuyunshan ranges greatly with its altitude from 400-2,772m. The topography is complicated as four different climatic zones can be found in the area, the subtropical, temperate warm, temperate, and cold temperate zones. It is basically a typical summer rainfall climate, with its rainy season starting from May to September, and August receives the greatest precipitation – 790.5mm. November to January is of the dry season. Humidity is the highest in the mid-high altitude areas, with annual rainfall around 3,000mm.

The soil in the area consists mainly of sediments such as slate and phylite, sometimes mixed with meta-sandstone. The geological formations in the area are primarily Bilushan formation of Eocene period to Lushan formation of Miocene period. Tableland and alluvial deposits are along the streams. The pH value of the soil is neutral to weak acidic, the ratio being 2.5-2.6, while its moisture content is around 14-36%. Over 80% of the soil is sand and gravel, with clay and little grain, large rocks can often be found, indicating comparatively less weathering. The difference of altitude in the area is as extensive as 2,500m; therefore, there are also dramatic changes in temperature. At areas of lower altitudes in summer, the highest monthly average in temperature is around 30℃; whereas those in higher altitudes in winter, the lowest monthly average in temperate is around 10℃, frost and snow often occur.

Biological Resources

As topography, altitudes, and climate vary greatly in this area, the nature reserve is given with a variety of forests. Aside from a few of artificial plantations, most of the forests are well preserved, including broadleaved forests, mixed forests, and coniferous forests. The areas west and south-west of Chuyunshan are grasslands, with altitude running between between 500m-800m. To the west or south-west are Fraxinus formosana - Lagerstroemia subcostata, Zelkova serrata type, to the east or south-east are Machilus zuihoensis, Machilus kusanoi--Phoebe formosanas or Cyclobalanopsis glauca type. Areas between 800-2,000m in altitude is of Lauro-fagaceae forest belt. Areas between 2,300-2,500m and above, to the east or north-east of Lingsian is Chamaecyparis formosensis and Tsuga chinensis mixed forest. Areas above 2,500m are Tsuga chinensis monoculture. Some rare plants can also be found, such as the Mitrastemon kawasasakii, Osmanthus enervius, Prunus transarisanensis, Cinnamomum kanehirae, Cephalotaxus wilsoniana, and Taxus sumatrana.

The natural broadleaved forest in this area is the best habitat for the Lophura swinhoii, and it explains why this area was designated as Nature Reserve in 1974 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Because of the variety of forest vegetation, a great number of animals can also be found. As many as 18 mammals found in the area, such as the Ursus thibetanus formosanus, Prionailurus bengalensis, Naemorhedus swinhoei, and Manis pentadactyla, all of which are unique to Taiwan or are rare species. Besides, 83 species of birds are found, with birds of prey and pheasants being the rarest. Other rare birds include the Lophura swinhoii, Parus holsti, Strix aluco yamadae, and the Spizaetus nipalensis fokiensis, all have been recorded in the nature reserve. Abundant variety of reptiles and butterflies are observed due to the various forest vegetation, while a rare fish - Scaphesthes alticorpus – is found in the area too, making the area even the more precious.

Conservation Results Till Now

The nature reserve covers an area of over 6,000 hectares. From ecological perspective of resource management, scholars suggest the area to be divided into a central, management, and guided tour and education areas. Of which the central area should amount to 86% of the total area, with strict control measures taken to maintain the original ecological state. The two sides of the forest road should be used for management, taking up 13% of the total area, used mainly for bird and plant observations and research. Necessary restorations can take place in this area too, while guided tour and education area should take up 1 hectare, amounting to 0.02% of the total area, used for ecological displays and environment education.

Presently, the only access to the nature reserve by vehicle is via the Chuyunshan forest road in dry season. This forest road goes as far as Yenping forest range in Taitung County. Due to poor road condition, it stops at No. 34 compartment of the old nursery. Entrance to the nature reserve is controlled, and monitored, and its effects significantly to maintain resources of the reserve. In the past, illegal logging ofCinnamomum kanehirae and Taxus sumatrana occurred frequently, and because the nature reserve is within Taoyuan Township and next to Maolin Village, there are many Aborigine settlements, poaching was very severe. Although with the implementation of legal enactment and law enforcement illegality has reduced, clearing of traps and preventing illegal acts which damage the ecological environment remains the primary task main of the area.

Since the nature reserve has been established earlier, for some time a basic ecological database has been built, and information about plants, animals, topology, ground formation, and soil has all been completed. Management projects are also in progress. In 1992, the Council of Agriculture proclaimed the area as a nature reserve, enhancing the protection for the original forests and rare species. In 1993, a forest hydrology micro-weather observation station was built next to Malishan stream to obtain valuable non-organic environmental information and appreciate the inter-relationship among living organisms.

Large signs and warnings have been installed in the nature reserve. Poaching is strictly prohibited in the area, and aborigines are hired to patrol the area for the prevention and removal of traps as a part of their duties. A control station is set up at the entrance, which inspects passing visitors and promotes wildlife conservation. In addition, a bird observatory is built to investigate and conduct research on their habitats.
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Visit counts:1769 Last updated on:2016-07-13