Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Wildlife Habitat

Name Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Wildlife Habitat
Primary Protected 
Forest Ecosystem
Area (Hectares) 23.50
Location Comapartment 49 of Da-an River Working Circle for National Forest(in Syue-pa National Park)
Central Management 
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan
Local Management 
Hsinchu Forest District Office, Forest Bureau
Date Established October 19, 2000


For Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Habitat, it is the first one established for insects—especially the one species, it has the honorable title of “national butterfly,” even as it slowly disappears from the wild. The broad-tailed Swallowtail, featured by its broad hind wing with tail-like prolongations having the third and fourth wing veins pierced on the posterior margin, was discovered in 1932, for the first time, along the riverside of Wumaozih in Yilan County. The butterfly of this beautiful species is because of its difficulty to find, catch and collect. It was considered by Japanese in 1935 as precious natural monument. In addition, it can only be found in a few specific locales. The above are but a few of the reasons that Agehana maraho needs conserving.

The female broad-tailed swallowtail lays eggs on the sprouts, buds or fresh leaves of Taiwan Sassafras. It is the only host plant for the butterfly of this species because insect larvae are monophagous and must therefore eat only from Taiwan Sassafras after the eggs are hatched it emerges. As a consequence, the target for conservation is set at not only broad-tailed swallowtail itself but also their home Taiwan Sassafras. Since “Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Habitat” had been established pursuant to the Article 8 from “Wildlife Conservation Act,” by Forestry Bureau, on October 19, 2000, the Bureau chose to fully protect their habitat with the aim of making a safe and comfortable home for wildlife rather than use the artificial approaches of zoos, museums or breeding centers to breed butterflies. After all, this kind of tree is critical for the survival of one species of butterfly.


The location of Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Habitat is at Yuan Village in Tai-an Township, Miaoli County. Its area is 23.5 ha and between 1,700 and 2,350 meters in height above sea level. Additionally, it sits on the north of Syue-ba National Park and the only access to the area is East Trail along Dalu Forest Road. Presently, it is administered by Compartments 49 of Da-an River Working Circle for National Forest.

An Introduction

The geology of this area, attributed to Syue Mountains in Ya W. Region which is a branch of Central Range, had been formed of sub-metamorphosed with slate and argillite in heavy gray in Teritary.

It is wet in climate and has full rainfall every year because Guanwu Broad-tailed Swallowtail Major Habitat lies in a Temperate Zone. According to the statistics provided by the weather station in Guanwu, it shows that its average annual temperature is 11.4ºC, with chilliest temperatures occurring between November and January and hottest between June and August. Additionally, it rains less than 100 mm between October and December, as is the least in a year. The rainfall is increasing since January and shares most of it between April and June. Moreover, it becomes less in July and achieves it peak in August.

Biological Resources

For distribution of plants, the paper, published by Professor Ou Chern-hsiung at National Chung Hsing University, shows that there are three forest types including Formosan China Fir like Taiwan Sassafras, Rhododendron Ellipticum maxim like Alnus Formosana Mak and Castanopsis Carlesii like Luanta Fir. The vascular plants of 183 species from 64 families also range over the area.

Taiwan Sassafra, a plant endemic to Taiwan, is a hardwood that is valuable from the Lauraceae Family, it has been replaced by other trees, but there is still a fairly large area upon which they grow. Due to its strengths such as color, grain, luster, light and flexible qualities, the tier-1 woods made of it are applied to sandwich plates for furniture, buildings or ships.

Professor Pei, Jia-ci at National Pingtung University of Science & Technology had conducted a survey of animal fauna in this area. It showed that there were 98 birds species, 24 mammals species, amphibian and reptiles 14 species and  102 butterflies species. Most important of all, there were 4 rare or endangered species in Taiwan such as the peregrine falcon, Formosan long-eared bat, large purple fritillary and agehana maraho.

Current Conservation Status

The species of animals are quite few, arising from the diversity of activities by human beings and migration of animals or dispersal of plants from neighboring regions at different heights.

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Visit counts:2300 Last updated on:2016-07-13