Danda Major Wildlife Habitat

Name Danda Major Wildlife Habitat
Primary Protected 
Forest Ecosystem
Area (Hectares) 109,952.0
Location Compartments 27-8, 78~104 and 118-24 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest; Compartments 48~54 and 70 of Mu-gua-shan Working Circle for National Forest; Compartments 1~40 of Dan-da Working Circle for National Forest; Compartment 135, except the minor ones 7, 10, 11 and 13, 136-79 and 181~201 of Luan-da Working Circle for National Forestt; Compartments 15-7, 19~21, 25-7 and 30 of Jhuo-shui-shih Working Circle for National Forest.
Central Management 
Council of Agriculture under Executive Yuan
Local Management 
Hua-lien and Nantou Forest District Offices, Forestry Bureau
Date Established February 15, 2000


Danda Working Circle, covering a broad area and having various forest types, sits in the southeast of central Taiwan. The area has sub-tropical broad-leaf forest, warm and temperate zone of needle and broad-leaf forest, cold and temperate needle-shaped forest of high altitude, and mountain grassland. The abundant types of plants all over the area enrich wildlife.

In the past, Danda Forest Road was paved in 1958 to meet the need of timber logging. In wake of reorganization of Forestry Bureau in 1989, the original administration department has turned into the units for forest recreation, ecological conservation, land security, and water resource preservation. Nature conservation has become one of the major tasks for Forestry Bureau. In order to prevent the habitat from illegal land cultivation and logging, solving poaching issues, and to consolidate the idea of “Central Range Ecological Corridor” for a better habitat for wildlife, the Council of Agriculture has recognized the area as a major wildlife habit and named it Danda Major Wildlife Habitat on February 15, 2000 based on Wildlife Conservation Act.


Danda Working Circle is situated at the upper Jhuo-shui River flowing through the central Taiwan. Under Nantou County, Sin-yi Township Office covers the jurisdiction of Danda Major Wildlife Habitat for local affairs. The wildlife habitat, covering a total area of 10,547 ha and the altitude of between 521 and 2,850 meters, is on the north of Yu-shan National Park, on the west of Wan-lun Township, Hualien County and on the south of Ren-ai Township, Nantou County. The only access to the wildlife habitat is through Dan-da Forest Road.

The terrain of the habitat stretches from east to the west. The eastern part of the area is great height of Central Range. The terrain has a flatter surface near the rivers. Danda Creek originates from Bei-dan Great Mountain in the east and stretches along the ridge of Central Range to go through Guan-men Mountain, Da-shih-gong Mountain, then to Danda Mountain. The river is separated from the gamut of Ka-she Creek, which originates from Gan-jhuo-wan-da Mountain, then heading southwest through Jhuo-she Great Mountain and flowing southeast toward Shuan-zih Mountain.

An Introduction

The geological system over Danda Major Wildlife Habitat is generally categorized as Holocene Epoch and Oligocene Epoch. Most of the rocks in the area are hard clay slate and dark sandstone. These two types of rock are exposed mostly along both sides of riverbanks. However, because sandy slates are supposed to corrupt easily, which forms cliffs at very steep land. The soil all over the area is mostly mountain lithosols and partial humic soil. However, the depth and fertility levels of the soil differ from each layer. It can be easily seen that there is a vast area of secondary forest, which suggests that the soil across the area is not fertile and easy to collapse. There are only few zones of land in the shady and humid valley that maintain humic soil.

Because of the vast land area of the wildlife habitat, the terrain in the place is very complicated. The local topography has posed great influences on the weather. The habitat has traversed three climate zones, including the sub-tropical, warm and temperate zone, and cold and temperate zone.

Biological Resources

Owing to the fact that differences of altitude are great, distribution of forests is in vertical formation. According to the altitude, the forests can be found as tropical forest, warm forest, temperate forest, and cold forest. The forest types all over the major wildlife habitat are broad-leaf forest, needle and broad-leaf forest, and needle leaf forest. The forest growing below the altitude of 1,800 meters is broad-leaf forest. The dominant tree species of the area are Cinnamommum camphora, Machilus breed, and Castanopsis-Cyclobalanopsis. The needle and broad-leaf forest that is situated between the altitude of 1,800 and 2,400 meters has dominant tree species such as Chamaecyparis obtuse, red cypress, Taiwania cryptomerioides Hay, Tsuga heterophylla, pine breed, and Castanopsis-Cyclobalanopsis breed. The dominant tree species beyond the altitude of 2,400 meters are Tsuga heterophylla, Abies kawakamii, Picea morrisonicola Hay, and Sabina chinensis.

Animals of many species inhabit Danda Working Circle. The survey, conducted by Professor Wang Yin at National Taiwan Normal University in 1998, indicated that there were 36 species of mammals under 17 families across Danda Major Wildlife Habitat. Of them, 12 protected species include Formosan black bear, Formosan clouded leopard, Formosan Rock-monkey, Small Chinese Civet, Leopard cat, C. crispus swinhoei, Sambar Deer, Formosan barking deer, and Formosan yellow-throated marten. There are 87 species of birds under 27 families all over the wildlife habitat. Of them, the 39 protected species and 19 rare species include Swinhoe's Pheasant, Syrmaticus Mikado, Besra sparrow hawk, Crested Goshawk, Crested Serpent Eagle, Chalcophaps indica Classification, Red-capped Green Pigeon, Collared Pigmy Owlet, Brown hawk owl, owl, Mountain Scops Owl, White-backed Woodpecker, Gray-headed Green Woodpecker, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Formosan yellow tit, Varied Tit., Garrulax canorus, Garrulax caerulatus, and Little Forktail. The records provided by other scholars, showing that traces of reptiles such as Formosan burrowing snake, Formosan tiger keelback, Pointed-scaled pit viper, and Kikuchi's turtle-designed snake. Judging from many protected species all over the area, it can be known that there is a variety of wildlife here. Therefore, the habitat is so-called the heaven of wild animals.

Across Danda Major Wildlife Habitat, there are four species attributed to the family, Strigidae. Brown hawk owl, the rare species, can be watched in the area as offers a precious experience for visitors. The other three species, including Collared Pigmy Owlet, Collared Scopes Owls, and Mountain Scops Owl, frequent hover around the sky beyond the wildlife habitat. The number of these owls shows that there is an abundant supply of prey. It is concluded that there might be a great population of small-size mammals serving as food of those birds.

Current Conservation Status

Danda Major Wildlife Habitat covers a large area and has much vegetation ranging over natural forests, grasslands, woods, and rivers. It is situated in the distant mountain and therefore, offers wildlife perfect environment. In the past, Tai-Power Company used to take advantage of the area to execute the project of transmitting electricity from the west to the east. As a result, people can see many cable towers all over the habitat. There are also some patches of lands that are developed for the growth of highland vegetables. During every long holiday, there are also many tourists coming to the area. As for human interference, it still needs further assessment in the future.

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Visit counts:3137 Last updated on:2021-11-23