Jiujiu Peaks Nature Reserve



Date of Proclamation May 22, 2000
Size of Area (ha) 1,198.4466
Primary Object for Protection The location of a collapsed precipice due to the earthquake
Scope of Administration Within the Puli working district, the sub-section 30,31 of section 8, the sub-section 16-19 of section 9, the sub-section 26,27,30,31,34,35 of section 10, the sub-section 17-20、23、26-30、32、33 of section 11, the sub-section 15-20 of section 12, the sub-section 1,2 of section 13, the sub-section 1-3,13-18 of section 15, the sub-section 1,2,5-7 of section 16, the sub-section 1,2 of section 17, the sub-section 5-7 of section 18, the sub-section 5,11,12 of section 19,and the sub-section 22 of section 20.
Authority in-charge-of Nantou Forest District Office


It was said that the Jiujiu Peaks (九九峰) was made up of ninety-nine mountains, so this was why it was called “Jiujiu Peaks” (In Chinese, “jiu”means“number nine”). From far beyond, you may see many “jumping fires” because small peaks were in an irregular formation and an intensive distribution, thus the Jiujiu Peaks was also called Houyenshan (火炎山). (In Chinese, “Houyen” means “fire”; “shan” means “mountain.”) In addition, it was also a famous tourist attraction in Nantou County. There were green mountains and clear water; beautiful scenes and extraordinary sight. On the foot of the mountain, there were camping areas and “National Art Village,” which was under the construction of Council for Cultural Affairs(文建會). Geologically, the layer of Jiujiu Peaks belonged to the Houyenshan gravel, the upper layer of the Pleistocene Toukoshan Formation (更新世頭嵙山層). The mountain was about 1,000m thick and shaped like a serration. It was the high permeability in the gravel that made the cements tight and tough when the weather was dry and made them erosive and incisive when it rained. With this characteristic, Jiujiu Peaks contained many sharp mountain peaks and deep valleys. In addition, the foot of Jiujiu Peaks near the Wushi (烏溪) was often hollowed and collapsed, and this was why there were so many bluffs and cliffs. Therefore, this magnificent landscape was embedded with the value of appreciation, scientific research and environmental as well as educational meanings. Jiujiu Peaks was one of the three famous Houyenshans in Taiwan second to the Sanyi Houyenshan(三義火炎山) and the Liugui Shibalouhanshan(六龜十八羅漢山). However, Jiujiu Peaks became barren since the 921 Earthquake in Taiwan because gravel in many mountains fell and dropped at that time. Due to this, the authorities concerned decided to preserve and protect this beautiful mountain area. Therefore, in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法), Jiujiu Peaks was established as “Jiujiu Peaks Nature Reserve ” (「九九峰自然保留區」) in May ,2000.


Jiujiu Peaks is located in the north of the Wushi , and its prime boundary stretches from section 8 to section 20 in the Puli working circle. And its administration area is under Caotun Township and Guosing Township of the Nantou County; Wufong Township and Taiping City of Taichung County. Seen from Shuangtung section on the Tai 14 Highway (A), you can see a mountain range and that is where Jiujiu Peaks is.

An Introduction

The southern part of Jiujiu Peaks is plain; Miaoli hills are mostly distributed in the northern part of the mountain. Limited by the landform, whenever the southwest wind blew, this mountain area easily gets humid and misty. The highest average temperature is 34.5 ℃ in July; the lowest average temperature is 12.1 ℃ in February. The relative humidity is about 86 %. The average precipitation is 1,800 mm.

Geographically, Houyenshan belongs to the Quaternary geology of the accumulated tablelands, the product of dramatic orogeny. In addition, the geographic structure in this mountain is made up of thick gravel and some sandstone in between. Thus, the geographic structure is fragile. However, due to continuous weathering and erosion, the landform is cut into broken pieces and fragments. Moreover, rainfall has made the surface of this debris extremely level, so from appearance, Jiujiu Peaks has many high peaks and rocks covered the valleys. You can see this magnificent landscape in a north-to-south direction. One thing special is that in the southern mountain area, hardly any water flows and you see only pebbles on the river bed.

This nature reserve has bountiful pinewood. Pines on the crest of the hill fall with the continuous gravel erosion. But most pines naturally regenerate, so they evolved into monoculture forests. The falling and regeneration of the pines are characteristic of ecological succession. Besides, there are many broad-leaved forests and ferns such as acacia, maple, Taiwan gordonia, and azalea in Jiujiu Peaks Nature Reserve . This was another characteristic that symbolized this area, precious and protective as it was. In this area most plants belong to the exposure-adaptive species, and the biggest pine is 60 cm in diameter at breast height (DBH), the only tree that survived a wildfire. Generally speaking, pinewood is a highly exposure-adaptive species, thus it was hard for them to become a fully covered forest.

Biological Resources

After 921 the Earthquake, the bald Jiujiu Peaks was declared a Nature Reserve (九九峰自然保留區). The Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture (農委會林務局) and Endemic Species Research Institute (特有生物研究保育中心) has recently finished studying the fauna and flora in Jiujiu Peaks. The study showed that both fauna or flora had revived to their conditions before the 921 Earthquake. They had regenerated. Moreover, the most unbelievable thing was that endangered species like Capricornis swinhoei(長鬃山羊) and Swinhoe’s Pheasant(藍腹鷴) appeared in Jiujiu Peaks.

In Jiujiu Peaks area, 921 Earthquake changed the landscape seriously and caused a widespread barrenness. However, a research done by the Endemic Species Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture revealed that there were still mammals of 7 Order, 12 Family, and 18 species in the mountain area. Among these animals, the most surprising was that in this low altitude and populous area they found Taiwan native goats (台灣山羊), which can only live in high altitude and low population areas. In addition to Taiwan native goats, Arielulus torquatus (黃頸蝠) was another species found in this mountain area. Arielulus torquatus are yellow-necked bats, a new bat species found in Taiwan in 2000.

The mountain’s canopy structure and vegetation were mostly plants of Macaranga tanarius (血桐), thorny bamboos(刺竹), Taiwan Trema(山黃麻), Mallotus paniculatus (白匏子), longan(龍眼) and lichee(茘枝); A. angatensis (台灣鐵莧), Melanolepis multiglandulosa (蟲屎), acacia(相思樹), Ficus irisana Elmer(糙葉榕), and Sapindus mukorossi(無患子)were often to be seen. As for shrub structure, it mainly contained longan(龍眼), Capparis(山柑), Litea Kostermansii(小梗黃肉楠), Clerodendron paniculatum Linn.var albiflorum Hemsl(龍船花), Psychotria rubra(九節木), and Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh(土肉桂). For plants like vine, Hiptage benghalensis(猿尾藤), Millettia reticulate(老荊藤), Bauhinia championii(菊花木), Pueraria montanus(葛藤), Mucuna macrocarpa(血藤), and Breynia officinalis Hemsley (七日暈) were often to be found. After the earthquake, the intolerant species of woody plants such as Taiwan Trema(山黃麻), Mallotus paniculatus(白匏子), Macaranga tanarius(血桐), Roxburgh Sumac(山鹽青) grew swiftly and bountifully. Moreover, some plants like Mikania micrantha(小花蔓澤蘭), Passiflora foetida var. hispida (毛西蕃蓮), Arundo formosana Hack(台灣蘆竹), Seaside clerodendrum Clerodendrum philippinum(臭茉莉), Panicum maximum(大黍), Miscanthus floridulus(五節芒), and Callicarpa formosana Rolfa (杜虹花) scrambled on the ground surface or grew on the ground.

Conservation Results Till Now

Up to now, reforestation efforts on Jiujiu Peaks have not come up with desired results. On the mountainside, there are still many landslides that seriously damage the soil. One solution would be to cultivate Michelia compressa(烏心石) and Taiwan Zelkova(櫸木) along the mountainside because these two plants are afforestation species. Other plants that grow naturally are pioneer species such as Taiwan Trema(山黃麻) and Macaranga tanarius(血桐).

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Visit counts:1768 Last updated on:2017-08-01