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Shuei-lian Major Wildlife Habitat

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Name Shuei-lian Major Wildlife Habitat
Primary Protected 
Features
Forest Ecosystem
Area (Hectares) 339.86
Location Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest
Central Management 
Agency
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan
Local Management 
​Agency
Hualien Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau
Date Established March 13, 2001

Origin

Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest is steep. Although some gentle slope areas have been developed into farms or orchards for growing bamboo, betel nut and fruits, the region remains difficult for development for other purposes. As of such, it has helped preserve rich and comprehensive primitive vegetation as well as wildlife, turning itself into a heaven for wild animals when neighboring habitats are severely damaged. Additionally, Shuei-lian has shared the biggest population of Taiwan Date Palm, the representative species of the coast along Eastern Taiwan. So, the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, announced on March 13, 2001 that “Shuei-lian Major Wildlife Habitat” had been established according to Wildlife Conservation Act.

Location

The wildlife habitat, spreading over a total area of 339.86 ha, in the east of Hua-lien is close to Shuei-lian, the starting point of Coast Highway. The habitat on Costal Range, covering Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest, shares the land of Yen-liao and Shuei-lian Villages under Shou-feng Township, Hualian County. It is the only reserve, on Costal Range in the eastern Taiwan, above Tropic of Cancer. In addition, Coastal Highway is through Shuei-lian Major Wildlife Habitat, covering Bridges No. 12-5 if you drive cars southwards and otherwise, there are several streams across the habitat. Lin-tian-shan Working Circle is on the east of coast and on the west of the crest-line of the ridge. Plus, the compartment 142 is to the northwest of highway, to the south of peak of altitude of 409 meters, to the north of mountaintop of altitude of 466 meters and to the east of mountaintop of altitude of 471 meters and of Mt. Shuei-lian-wei of altitude of 531 meters. The southernmost point of the wildlife habitat is at the estuary of Bei-keng-tou Creek across Shueilian. However, the region varies in height and thus, some landslides can be observed close to the coast.

An Introduction

The soil of the area is made up of sedimentary conglomerate mostly found in major harbor near Coastal Range, and the conglomerate bed covers Fu-tian and Shuei-lian at the north side of Coastal Mountain. The appearance and thickness of conglomerate bed vary , often extending as large tens of square kilometers and as thick as up to five hundred meters. Sandstone is found in conglomerate bed alternating in layers, and conglomerate is often found from coarse to fine in between of the sandstone. The size of conglomerate is usually 10 to 20 cm in diameter, with some up to 4 meters, they are mostly shape. According to the information of the meteorology station near Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest, it is found that 22.8℃ is of the average temperature, while June, July and August are of the highest, and December, January and February the lowest. Annual rainfall is 219.5mm, and majority of precipitation falls on June, July and August, and the least in November, December and January. Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest is divided into inner land area and coastal land area. The former is given with Inner land area has canyons shaped by rivers, while the latter are found with many landslide areas as of strong wind.

The geographic outlook of the area is unique. Since its altitude increase from sea level as high as 531 meters of Mt. Shuei-lian-wei within short distance range, vegetation varies dramatically in different elevation. In addition to the truncating effects of rivers and strong wind, canyons and landslide areas are rendered, fostering a great number of wildlife species, and the most special species is the rare plant specific to the island, “Formosan Date Palm.”

Biological Resources

The preliminary survey indicated that the total species of plants are 370 from 102 families, and of them, 7 are the rare species. According to socioeconomic correlation analysis and bi-directional table analysis, plants can be categorized into 7 types of vegetation communities including Diels – Ficus type, Cyclobalanopsis glauca Oerst – Orange-jessamine type, Crape Myrtle – Macaranga type, Changeable rose –Roxburgh Sumac type, Goodeniaceae – Taiwan Arundo donax type, Saddle cane type, and Bingang Beam type. The geographical distribution and altitude affects the place of growth of vegetation.

Niou-shan Nature Reserve is located along the area of Shuei-lian, Fan-shu-liao-ken and Ji-ci, and it is of tropical rainforest. The major plants are Macaranga and Mallotus, while major coastal plants are Saddle cane, Cuscuta japonica and Fextile screw pine. Valley plants are Paper mulberry, red nammu, Camphor tree, pith paper plant, Martius chusan palm, Paulownia imperials, Cyathea lepifera Copel, Cyathea taiwaniana Nakai, Formosan Date Palm and common coral tree such as Bhendi tree, Miscanthus floridulus, passion fruit and Alpinia speciosa growing near coast. Formosan Date Palm recognized as the most valuable species for protection.

Formosan Date Palm is from Algerian family ranges over Taiwan, Hai-nan Island, Hong Kong and southeastern China. Majority of Formosan Date Palm grows all over the regions of low altitude such as Hualian coastal area, Heng-chuan, Shou Mountain in Kaoshuong, Bai-sha-tun in Miaoli and Peace Island in Taipei County. Formosan Date Palm grows in coastal areas, inner lands with dry climate, and steep areas all over the eastern coast.

Professor Yuan Hsiao-wei at Department of Forestry, National Taiwan University, had conducted survey on wildlife across the area between 1998 and 1999 indicating that there were 11 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles, 35 species of birds and 8 species of mammals. According to her survey, there are Indian Bullfrog, Banded snake, Crested Serpent-eagle, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Taiwan Barwing Owl, Spotted Scopes Owl and Formosan Macaque listed in Rare & Valuable Species based on Wildlife Conservation Act. Plus, other conservation-Deserving Wildlife including Yellow-throated Minivet and Taiwan Bulbul.

Current Conservation Status

Utilization of farming, fishing and forestry that follows the regulation and does not interfere wildlife habitation is allowed. “Shuei-lian Major Wildlife Habitat” is located in national forest, and is, therefore, not in great conflict with the legitimate rights of residents in the area.

Plant succession is estimated that Formosan Date Palm will transform from Goodeniaceae – Taiwan Arundo donax type and Changeable rose –Roxburgh Sumac type to Cyclobalanopsis glauca Oerst – Orange-jessamine type or Crape Myrtle – Macaranga type. However, it is found that woods have difficulty growing on steep landslide areas in coastal climate. The phenomenon that Formosan Date Palm can succeed to regenerate, forming unique view near Compartment 142 of Lin-tian-shan Working Circle for National Forest.

The population of Formosan Date Palm near Shuei-lian represents the major type of Formosan Date Palm at the eastern coast. However, with recent highway construction, farming, recreation and metropolitan development, it has pushed land utilization to the limit. Therefore, establishing the protected area is indeed critical.
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Visit counts:2014 Last updated on:2016-07-13