Chachayalaishan Major Wildlife Habitat

Name Chachayalaishan Major Wildlife Habitat
Primary Protected 
Forest ecosystem
Area (Hectares) 2,004.40
Location Compartments 28~30 of Chao-jhou Working Circle for National Forest
Central Management 
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan
Local Management 
Pingtung Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau
Date Established October 19, 2000


Amentotaxus formosana Li is an endemic species of Taiwan. In the field of plant taxonomy, it was a species of gymnosperm, and was classified into Amentotaxaceae, Amentotaxus. Amentotaxus formosana Li is a unisexual small evergreen tree. Of interest are the male plants that have dangling tassels as inflorescence. The height of this plant can be 10m at most; the diameter of the biggest Amentotaxus formosana Li is recorded as 30 cm in diameter at breast height (DBH). Its distribution is limited to Taiwan and it is rare. Therefore, in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, Amentotaxus formosana Li was declared as a rare and valuable plant species worthy of preservation.

Chachayalai Mountain is found on the main ridge of the southern segment of Central Range. It is rich in vegetation and has deforested land, collapsed land, plantations, and broad-leaved primordial forests. The ecosystem remains intact. In Chachayalai Mountain, in addition to the distribution of Amentotaxus formosana Li, there was also lots of wildlife. Therefore, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan in October 19, 2000 established Compartment 28~30 of Chao-jhou Working Circle for National Forest as “Chachayalaishan Major Wildlife Habitat” in order to protect the precious natural resources and to preserve this important environment.


This area was situated in the Shih-zih Township, Pingtung County. It is located in Compartments 28~30 of Chao-jhou Working Circle for National Forest under Pingtung Forest District Office. Its total established area was 2,004.4 ha; elevation was from 550 to 1,326m. The highest mountain in the whole area was Chachayalaishan (indicated altitude: 1,326 meters), which was in the end of the Central Mountain Range. Rivers in this area were Fangshanbei River and Sidujiao River, both upstream of the Fangshan River. This area was in the western part of the Central Range and was next to Taitung Working Circle, so its landform fluctuated furiously and its slopes were in southwest directions.

People can access this area from Provincial Highway No.17 in Fangshan. Along the industrial path near the Fangshan River, they will pass through a pathway under the South Railway until reaching at elevation about 700 meters, and then you can arrive at Compartment 29. Along the paths, there were many collapsed lands and deforestation lands. Predominated plants in these lands were Zelkova serrata, Fraxinus formosana Hayata and acacia.

An Introduction

According to the recent statistics conducted by Dahan Mountain (1,170meters) climate predication center, annual temperature in this area was 20 ºC; annual rainfall was above 3,000 mm. Heavy rainfall was between May and September. Winter here, from November to February, was obviously a dry season. This area belonged to a typical summer rain climate area in Southern Taiwan. Its geographic structure was Swule Formation of the Miocene epoch and was mainly made of black shale and slate. Its landform was classified as clayslate of the southeast segment in the Central Mountain Range. As for parent materials of the soils here, they were mostly slates that had experienced weathering, collapse, or accumulation. Soils were acidic or slightly acidic and its soil layer contained above 20% of stone ratio.

Biological Resources

Highly intensive rainfall caused a wide range of plant species in this area. According to investigation, there were 101 families and 334 species of vascular plants. Among them, there were 84 species of pteridophyte and 250 species of spermatophyte. Forest type was a native broad-leaved forestland, and coniferous trees only contained one species—Amentotaxus formosana Li. Amentotaxus formosana Li mostly distributed in the wet area of the slide of the mountain and slightly in the ridge of the mountain and river ravine. Its distribution was in communities and in a horizontal direction and featured a belting pattern of Dawu Amentotaxus formosana Li in the eastern part of the mountain and of those in the southern part of the Lilong Mountain.

According to Professor Yang Sheng-ren at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, plant communities in this area can be roughly categorized into one forest type: Scheffera actinophylla-Machilus japonica forest type and according to different characteristic species it was subdivided into three subtypes:
  • Castanopsis indica subtyp
  • Beilschmiedia erythrophloia subtype
  • Cyathea loheriv subtype.

According to the height of the canopy structure, plants in this reserve were classified into three layers:
  • upper layer of the trees: Pasania dodonaeifolia Hayata, Cyclobalanopsis championii, Pasania kodaihoensis (Hayata) Li, Machilus thunbergii, Machilus japonica, Elaeocarpus sylvestris, and Castanopsis indica.
  • middle layer of the trees: Helicia formosana, Dendropanax dentiger, Prunus phaeosticta, Machilus japonica, Schima superba var. kankoensis, Eriobotrya deflexa f. deflexa, Illicium arborescens Hayata, Litsea nakaii Hayata, Castanopsis borneensis, Litsea dolichocarpa Hayata, Lithocarpus brevicaudatus (Skan) Hayata, Hydrangea chinensis Maxim, Trochodendron aralioides, Gordonia axillaries, Itea parviflora Hemsl, Dysoxylum hongkongense, Glaucae, Cryptocarya chinensis, and Meliosma squi-mulata.
  • Understory plants: Parachampionella flexicaulis, Ardisia crenata, Amischotolype chinensis, Sarcandra glabra Nakai and pteridophyte.

In accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, Amentotaxus formosana Li was declared as one of the rare and valuable plant species. According to the actual site investigation, Amentotaxus formosana Li in this area were in an intensive distribution and grew in the natural broad-leaf forest. Therefore, their growing abilities were strong and their population structures were even. Young plants of the Amentotaxus formosana Li and mature plants of it with the diameter of 10 cm were found in the reserve and both of them were in a good regenerated condition.

The narrow surroundings in the area were mostly plantation and their forest ecosystems were not complete yet. Big animals were few; contrastively, birds were in a large quantity. This area was a primitive environment, so there were many dead woods and abundant insects. Therefore, this environment desired a complete study on animals in order to make fauna’s basic information complete.

Current Conservation Status

There were young plants of Amentotaxus formosana Li in the reserve and their population structures showed a reverse J shape. This indicated plant species here were good enough to regenerate naturally and they were faced with no extinct danger. Judged from the distributions of Amentotaxus formosana Li, this kind of situation was associated with the dissemination of birds.

Several rare plant species in the area have been discovered deemed worthy of continued preservation. For example, Anneslea fragrans var. lanceolata was an endemic native species distributed only in Dawu, Guei-tian, Tuban (土板) in Taitung County; Lilong Mountain, Nanren Mountain, Chachayalai on Hengchun Peninsular. Moreover, according to previous records, Cyathea loheriv can only be found in Jin-shuei-ying (浸水營) and Lanyu, but it was now found in this area. This pointed out that this area belonged to a wet warm-temperature rainforest climate area because fern was an indicative plant of this kind of climate and Cyathea loheriv was a type of the ferns.

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Visit counts:2217 Last updated on:2016-07-13