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Xue-ba Forest Reserve

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Primary Object for Protection Cedar primeval forest, Needle and broad-leaved primeval forest, Special topography, Glacier relics and Wildlife.
Size of Area (ha) 20,869.82
Scope of Administration Compartment 53-4 and 56~64 of Daan Creek Working Circle for National Forest and Compartment 76~84 of Mt. Ba-sian Working Circle for National Forest. Those compartments lie in Syue-ba Park.
Authority in-charge-of Dong-shih Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau
History The nature reserve was established to preserve the forest in 1981 and Syue-ba Forest Reserve has been established according to the official document No. 0951700407, issued by Forestry Bureau on April 10, 2006.

Origin

Syue Mountain of 3,884 meters in height shares a portion of lands in Miao-li and Taichung County. The peak of Mt. Syue ranks second in height among others across the island. Da-ba-jian Mountain of 3,490 meters in height, sharing a portion of lands in Hisin-chu County and Miao-li county, is located in the north of Mt. Syue. The mountain, also called “Century’s Peak,” is featured by its unique mountainous landscape. The two mountains are connected with ridge trails, known as “Saint Ridge Trails.” There is a dozen of mountain peaks over three thousand between the two mountains. In between, many circs can be discovered, being the most of remains found in Taiwan. The particular mountain ranges and topography have helped nurture various species of animals and plant. The Council of Agriculture, by establishing, in 1981, “Syue-ba Forest Reserve,” protected the cedar primeval forest, needle and broad-leaved primeval forest, special topography, glacier remains and wildlife. In addition, Forestry Bureau issued the official document No. 0951700407 on April 10, 2006, indicating that “Syue-ba Forest Reserve” was established according to the amendment to Forestry Act.

Location

The range of the area spans across Hsin-chu, Miao-li, and Taichung Counties, and it sits in the large forestland in the west of the main crest-line between Mt. Syue and Da-ba-jian Mountain. The scope of administration embodies Compartments 53-4, and 56~64 of Daan Creek Working Circle for National Forest and Compartments 76~84 of Mt. Ba-sian Working Circle for National Forest. Those compartments are administered by Hsin-chu and Dong-shih Forest District Offices under Forestry Bureau. The forest reserve covers a total area of 20,869.82 ha, sharing the part of between 1,100 and 3,886 meters above seal level. Until now, Syue-ba Forest Reserve ranks first in height among others all over Taiwan.

An Introduction

The altitude of higher than 1,100 meters in the forest reserve has 10 °C in avg. temperature while its average temperature in summer is mostly below 16 °C. The vertical changes in temperature are very obvious. If visitors want to reach the top of Mt. Syue through the entrance to Wu-ling Farm or the one in Guang-wu to Da-ba-jian Mountain, the climate varies from warm-temperate, cold-temperate, to frigid. The soil of the area is made up of pebble from after weathering, and it is dry podzolic soil. The primary crest area are Mt. Jia-li, Mt. Yi-ze, Mt. Da-ba-jian, Mt. Siao-ba-jian, Mt. Ba-sa-la-yun, Mt. Bu-siou-lan, Mt. Sumida, Mt. Syue North Peak, Mt. Huo-shih, and Mt. Tou-ying. Among them, Da-ba-jian Mountain of 3,505 meters in height is so gorgeous a sight that it is reputed as “Barrel Mountain or “Century’s Peak.” Syue Mountain of 3,884 meters ranks fifth among others in height, that is second to Mt. Jade, all over Taiwan. Therefore, it is also known as “Second Highest Mountain.” The circs beneath, being remains of glacier, the area are significant both in cultural and natural value.

Biological Resources

According to preliminary investigation, there are more than 300 species of plants in the area. Regarding its climate of cold-temperate and temperate environment as well as altitude, it is considered an abundant treasure of species. Among them, there are some of the valuable and rare species. The vegetation includes alpine frigid plain, and forest and grassland, and they are endemic species of the alpine frigid plain with unique genes that can only be found in Taiwan. With its vast area of alpine frigid plain in Syue Mountain, its variety of species can be regarded as the gene treasure of plants of Frigid Zone in Taiwan.

Aside from alpine frigid plain, Yushan cypress and Taiwan cedar are the two most symbolic communities of plants in the region over 2,800 meters. The gentler slope is covered by Yushania Niitakayamensis, forming a large area of alpine grassland scene, while Yushan cypress forms into different shapes according to locations. Cypress in the area can be found on slopes between 3,400 and 3,600 meters with elegant outlook, measuring to 10 to 12 meters and 30 to 60 cm in diameter at breast height (DBH), while larger ones can reach over one meter. Cypress, which grows on windless slopes with better soil, usually has taller trunk and branches. For example, cypresses around Cuei Lake on Syue Mountain, which is rather common, usually carry trunk, at the age of older than 2,000 years, with diameter over one meter. As for the wind surface on the ridge, the plants usually have the shape of low shrub or crooked branches. On the other hand, cypress on the windward side tends to from into short scrub or meandering shape. Though there is a great amount of high mountain in Taiwan, which does not work much to retain much underground water, while Yushan cypress can accumulate soil, and contribute greatly to soil and water conservation of high mountain.

Taiwan cedar is the primary plant commumty in the sub-frigid (sub-alpine) climate of Taiwan, and it is widely distributed between 2,800 to 3,500 meters high. At the upper stream of Ci-jia Creek and the valley between Pin-tian Mountain to the main crest of Mt. Syue, it is the most favorable spot for cedars growth, being the most beautiful of woods appearance among the rest.

In April or May when hikers visit Mt. Syue and Da-ba-jian Mountain, they can see pink or snow-white Rhododendron pseudochrysanthum Hayata, dark green Taiwan cedar, goose yellow Yushania Niitakayamensis, and elegant Yushan cypress, with recognizable layers. They are typical of alpine view in Taiwan, while those in the proximity of Syue-ba National Park are considered to be most characteristics.

For animals, the main species are Formosan black bear, Capricornis crispus swinhoei, Formosan Rock Macaque, White-faced flying squirrel, Mustela sibirica davidiana, Alpine Accentor, Coal Tit, Regulus goodfellowi, White-whiskered Laughing thrush, Vinaceous Rosefinch, Cettia acanthizoides, and Spotted Nutcracker. Among them, there are some endangered species as Onchorhynchus formosanus, Formosan black bear, Leopard cat, Syrmaticus mikado, Swinhoe's Pheasant, White-throated Laughing Thrush, Hynobius formosanus, and Pazala eurous asakurae Matsumura.

Current Conservation Status

As an overview of the area, the terrain is mostly with many high mountains and deep valleys. Because inconvenient traffic, there is comparatively less human interference. Most of the areas remain intact except in Jhu-dong Forest and Da-syue-shan Forest, where there is forest plantation, and some agricultural activities going on at Wuling Farm, Jia-yang, Huan-shan, Sih-yuan, and Nan- shan.

Mt. Syue and Da-ba-jian Mountain are one of the popular hiking trails in Syue-ba Forest Reserve, and 99 and 369 lodges are set up for hikers, therefore, many people stay in the lodges. As a result, trash is always the biggest problem in the area. The other problems include damage done to the environment because of camping and camp fire. As of it, the area is managed with regular patrol, and trash cleaning to publicize visitors about fire and environmental protection. Nonetheless, it is critical to establish complete ecological data of high mountain ecosystem. Furthermore, monitoring stations and a weather station will be set up to mee
 
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Visit counts:1701 Last updated on:2016-07-13