Dawu Working Circle Taiwan Amentotaxus Nature Reserve



Date of Proclamation June 27, 1986
Size of Area (ha) 86.40
Primary Object for Protection Amentotaxus formosana Li
Scope of Administration Compartment 39 of Dawu Working Circle
Authority in-charge-of Taitung Forest District Office


This nature reserve was subordinate to the Compartment 39 of Dawu Working Circle of Taitung Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau. In 1973, the Office exercised its jurisdiction over the nature reserve forest and started to conduct research on the forest trans formation and timber volume. They unexpectedly found a rare tree species-Amentotaxus formosana Li (台灣穗花杉). In order to protect the ecological environment of this scarce species, they classified about 100 ha of this forestland for total preservation. In 1980, permission was granted for the protection plan and the swath of land was dubbed “Taiwan Amentotaxus Nature Reserve (台灣穗花杉自然保留區)”. In June 1986, the Council of Agriculture (農委會) officially proclaimed it as “Dawu Taiwan Amentotaxus Nature Reserve (大武事業區台灣穗花杉自然保留區).” In September 1988, Amentotaxus formosana Li was granted protection as a “rare and endangered” plant species.


This reserve is located in the Daren Township, Taitung County, upstream of Dawu River (大武溪) upon the slope of the southeast portion of Dahanshan (大漢山) which is in the southern segment of the Central Mountain Range. It is quite near Cinshueiying (浸水營), which was the the Compartment 39 of Dawu Working Circle of Taitung Forest District Office. Amentotaxus formosana Li belongs to the gymnospermae (cone-bearing seed) group of plants, which is somewhat of an exception among the other woody plants in this area which are mostly broad-leaved angiospermae (flowering plants that bear seeds in fruit) plants. Dawu Taiwan Amentotaxus Nature Reserve is a well-preserved native forest. Its total area is 86.4 ha, and its elevation was about 900 to 1,500 m above sea level. Because it was located upstream of Dawu River, the mountainside of the southeast part of Dahanshan in the southern segment of Central Mountain Range, its landform is high and precipitous. Moreover, the Dawu River belongs to the watershed area in Dawushan (大武山). People can arrive this nature reserve by walking along the Dahan forest road from Shueidiliao (水底寮) in Pingtung County. Along the road, hikers will pass Cinshueiying.

An Introduction

The geology of this nature reserve was made up of sandstone and shale in the middle Miocene. Its soil belongs to the brown forest soil of the watershed area upstream of the Chachayalai River (茶茶牙賴溪). The average annual temperature is 16°C. The lowest monthly temperature is 10°C. The highest monthly temperature is 20°C. Annual rainfall is about 2,500 to 3,000 mm, and most rainfall falls in summer. In winter when the northeast wind blows, it brings a small amount of rainfall to this forestland. Therefore, the climate is always warm and humid, resulting in a lush forested area.

The diameter of the biggest Amentotaxus formosana Li was 36 cm in diameter at breast height (DBH). Judging from the DBH measurements and other indicators, the Amentotaxus formosana Li is in a good state of recovery condition and stable growth is possible barring outside interference. At elevations from 900 to 1,500 m, 354 kinds of plants (98 Families and 229 Genuses) have been recorded. Dominant plants were Machilus thunbergiiCastanopsis cuspidata var. carlesii-Trochodendron aralioides, Engelhardtia roxburghiana Wallich-Beilschmiedia erythrophloia-Machilus konishii, and Alnus formosana-Syzygium tripinnatum (Blanco) Merr.-Machilusjaponica type.

In this nature reserve and its surrounding region, the canopy structure is very dense, so it formed a very good insulated canopy. This kind of insulation could make the sub-canopy a stable microclimate, thus providing the Amentotaxus formosana Li with a good place to grow and prosper. Besides, in addition to a small amount of naked-gravel landform in the pathway and mountain stream, the landform in this nature reserve was mostly embowered with dense groundcover and shrubbery or covered with thick falling leaves. Standing trees and deadwood also furnished the wildlife with a perfect habitation.

Biological Resources

The Dawu Taiwan Amentotaxus nature reserve is a subtropical broadleaf forest, so there were abundant kinds of plants. Among them primarily were natural broad-leaved vegetation with lush understory plants. Plant communities were categorized into three types: Machilus thunbergiiCastanopsis cuspidata var. carlesii-Trochodendron aralioides, Engelhardtia roxburghiana Wallich-Beilschmiedia erythrophloia-Machilus konishii, and Alnus formosana-Syzygium tripinnatum (Blanco) Merr.-Machilusjaponica. Amentotaxus formosana Li is a rare coniferous tree plant in the reserve. It is the second canopy structure of the above-mentioned three plant communities.

In addition to Amentotaxus formosana Li, there were other rare species such as Kudoacanthus albo-nervosa Hosok, Cyathea loheri, and Calymmodon Cucuiiatus and C. Gracilis that needed to be protected even more. Amentotaxus formosana Li was endemic species in Taiwan. According to investigation and research in academia at home and abroad, it revealed that there has been aeropalynology ofAmentotaxus formosana Li since the Miocene epoch. Amentotaxus formosana Li is considered a living fossil because of its rarity. There were only three species of the Amentotaxus formosana Li around the world up to now. Two of them were in mainland china; the one that was the original species was in this nature reserve in Taiwan. All the breeding range of the three species was quite narrow. In the field of plant taxonomy, Amentotaxus formosana Li is a gymnosperm, and it was classified into Amentotaxaceae, AmentotaxusAmentotaxus formosana Li is a small evergreen tree whose leave is in a sickle shape. The length of its leave was about 3-5cm; the height of this plant can be 10 cm at most. Its blade grew symmetrically; its blade edge cured. The back of the leaves has two white stomata. Amentotaxus formosana Li is a unisexual plant. The male Amentotaxus formosana Li were mostly dangling tassels assembling as inflorescence catkin. Flowers of Amentotaxus formosana Li bloomed in March and April and cones were ripen from June to July in the year. The cone is an elliptical form with a long leafstalk. There is a red aril layer in the cone, and when it ripens, the layer changes to a dark purple with a sweet taste. And this is the food that birds and squirrels forage. In accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文資法), Amentotaxus formosana Li was declared as one of the eleven rare and valuable plant species. This kind of rare species can be found in Dahanshan and Guzailunshan (姑仔崙山) in southern Taiwan and grows at elevations of 1,100 to 1,500 m. Amentotaxus formosana Li preferred to inhabit in the humid and warm slopes and valleys, but there were only a small amount of them in the mountains of southern Taiwan. There had been 1,300 of them filed and protected in the area of Dahanshan and Guzailunshan. In addition to those distributed intensively in southern Taiwan, some of them were found in the east-foot of the southern part of Dawushan (大武山) and in the Longshan area (龍山區) of Fenggang Township (楓港里), Pingtung County. The highest incidence and best recovery were found in the area of Dahanshan and Guailunshan.

In this nature reserve, the canopy structure was very dense creating an insulating level, allowing for microclimate conditions. In addition to a small amount of naked-gravel landforms on paths and along the mountain streams, the landform in this nature reserve was mostly embowered with dense groundcover and shrubs or covered with thick falling leaves. Moreover, the standing trees and deadwood also furnishes the wildlife with perfect habitation, . According to species identification, there were at least 60 birds, 19 mammals, 4 amphibians, 12 reptiles, and 29 butterflies in the nature reserve. Among them, there were rare or endangered species like Hodgson's hawk eagle, Formosan yellow-throated marten, Viverricula indica, and Hundred-pacer Viper.

Conservation Results Till Now

In accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, this nature reserve was dedicated in 1981 and officially established as Dawu Taiwan Amentotaxus Nature Reserve in June 1986. Currently, this area is managed by the Dawu Working Circle of the Taitung Forest District Office. They were responsible for protecting and patrolling all the plants in this area. Each Amentotaxus formosana Li in the nature reserve had been examined, tagged, and numbered for tracking purposes. There were 627 of them had been filed and fully protected. For management, people should enhance ecological observations and genetic research on them to gain specific information so as to carry on this reserve area and to keep those rare species from becoming endangered.

Forestry Bureau has made commitments to academic institutes to undertake research in the area. There were placards in the area, but there were no controls to stop damaging traffic and environmental unfriendly visitors. People can go in and out as they like. Although there were people who patrolled the place, they did not do so very frequently. This leads to problems for management and preservation of this nature reserve.

Moreover, the Dawu forest road and Dahan forest road intersect the east and west parts of the area. Amentotaxus formosana Li tends to grow on either side of the forest paths. In addition to the above-mentioned problems there is the potential pressure of hunters in this nature reserve.

The following is an explanation of how to use our album through keyboards:

  • Up key:Show photo menu
  • Down key:Hide photo menu
  • Left key:Previous photo
  • Right key:Next photo
  • Esc key:Leave album
Visit counts:2843 Last updated on:2020-07-06