Guangshan Formosan Date Palm Forest Reserve

Primary Object for Protection Formosan Date Palm
Size of Area (ha) 54.33
Scope of Administration Compartments 4~5, 12, and 25 of Guanshan Working Circle for National Forest
Authority in-charge-of Taitung Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau
History Guangshan Formosan Date Palm, the national forest reserve established in 1981, had been established by the Official Document No. 0951700407 issued by Forestry Bureau on April 10, 2006.


The distribution of Formosan date palm in Taiwan is determined according to terrain. Because of land development, over-exploitation, over-cultivation, and extensive logging, the plant along the eastern coast, Heng-chun Peninsula, Siao-liou-ciou, and Green Island is sporadically distributed. However, larger and more extensive distribution of the plant can be found in the area, rendering the ecological environment of the area comparatively important. In order to protect the rare species and preserve its natural environment for educational and scientific researches, the area is has been designated as a reserve area. According to the article 13 of “Taiwan Forestry Management Renovation Scheme” of the Forestry Bureau, which was enacted in 1981, the primary plant that receives protection is Formosan date palm. The area was announced as Guangshan Date Palm Forest Reserve according to the Official Document No. 0951700407 issued by Forestry Bureau on April 10, 2006.


The reserve area, in Taitung, is located near Sin-wu Bridge on S. Cross-Island Highway. When visitors pass through Hai-Duan Village from Guangshan and drive on S. Cross-Island Highway, it is the middle section of Sin-wu-lyu Creek, the main river through Hualien-Taitung Valley, which is flowing through the broad riverbed on your right side. Sin-wu-lyu is called, in aboriginal language, “Isamulu” indicating the zone, through which goes Wu-la-ku-san Creek, Wulu Creek , and Dalun Creek, is an important position on S. Cross-Island Highway. Guangshan Formosan Date Palm Forest Reserve ranges over the valley by the banks of Sin-wu-lyu Creek. Formosan date palm on the mountain wall can be easily found.

The reserve is administered by Compartments 4~5, 12, 25 and 26 of Guangshan Working Circle for National Forest subordinate to Taitung Forest District Office. The area of the reserve is 54.33 hectares that is between 290 and 750 meters above sea level.

An Introduction

The reserve, facing southeast, is located at the bottom of the river valley at the intersection of Sin-wu-lyu Creek and Dalun Creek. One side of the hill is 30-50 degree steep, and the other is 15-30 degree, which is comparatively flat. Frequent rain is prone to cause landslides because of a severe human interference at the upper stream of Sin-wu-lyu Creek and not a solid base of S. Cross-Island Highway. Therefore, the rain moves downstream along with a tremendous amount of mud and sand to lower stream, making the water turbid. However, Dalun Creek is the opposite of Sin-wu-lyu Creek, lying in the clear water in the river, where the abundant species of fish are nurtured. The annual average temperature in the reserve is at 14.45℃. The temperature in June, July, and August is the highest, while the lowest in December, January, and February. The annual rainfall is 2,281 mm, with the greatest amount observed in June, July, and August, while the least rainfall in November and December.

Biological Resources

With a plant survey of the area, it is found that there are 36 families, 58 genera, and 61 species. Among them are four rare plants including Rosa Bracteata, Taitung Firethorn, Chinese Parasol, and Caesalpiniaceae. The flora society is further divided into Formasan Ash forest and Pistacia Chinensis Bunge forest, while companion plants to Formosan date palm are masculine Pinus taiwanensis hay, Sweet gum, Zelkove formosana, Formasan ash, Wikstroemia indica, Lagerstroemia subcostata, and other things. The phenomenon shows that the area is still in the initial phase of an early succession community.

It is recorded that there are seven families and nine species of mammals in the area, but it is only Red-bellied Tree Squirrel that is spotted. Based on field survey, it is concluded that traces of larger mammals such as Formosan Macaques, Sus Scrofa Taivanus, and Capricornis Crispus Swinhoei; middle-sized mammals such as Mustela Sibrica, Formosan Masked Civet, Formosan Giant Flying Squirrel, and White-faced Flying Squirrel are discovered. Red-bellied Tree Squirrel populates the most in the area and can be seen almost everywhere.

16 families and 24 species of birds are observed in the area. The kinds of birds in the area differentiate a lot  between winter and fall and that of spring and summer. In autumn and winter, birds as Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Japanese White-eye, and White-rumped Munia are seen most. In summer and autumn, birds as Pycnonotidae like Black Bulbul and Northern White-rumped Swift prevail. The latter bird would cross the area before the intersection of Dalun Creek and Hsinwului Creek. . Therefore, many kinds of water birds can be seen along the riverbanks, such as Little Egret, Brown Dipper, Motacilla Alba, Motacilla Cinerea, and Plumbeous Water Redstart. Black Bulbul would gather in flocks in January. In addition, three rare and valuable species of birds enlisted in “Wildlife Conservation Act” as Crested goshawk, Crested Serpent Eagle, and White-Backed Woodpecker can also be seen in the area. Additionally, other conservation-deserving wildlife all over Guanshan Formosan Date Palm Forest Reserve is three rare and valuable species of birds such as Styan's Bulbul, Plumbeous Water Redstart, and Taiwan Yuhina. There aren't any endangered species in the area. Nonetheless, there are two local endemic species of birds ( which are Styan's Bulbul and Taiwan Yuhina) and 13 endemic subspecies, while as many as 19 species of common migratory birds are often found in the area.

As a whole, there are seven families and 10 species of reptile observed in the area. According to survey, there are, at least, 3 families and five species of snake. The interviewee insists that there should be no Chinese moccasin in the area. And there are three families and four species of lizards in the area. Among them, the tree lizard is the most common, while Five-striped Blue-tailed Skink and Chinese skink can sometimes be seen in the bush. During night survey, the staff has found Gehyra mutilate from Gecko family. The soft-shell turtles were seen captured in Dalun Creek.

There are three species of amphibian in the area, and most of them are found along the riverbank of Dalun Creek and Sin-wu-lyu Creek. In July and August, typhoons and heavy rain cause greater impact to the amphibian, while the habitat originally damaged in the west is currently under restoration. There is no species of amphibian in the area that goes to the protected species list.

Formosan Date Palm is a Monocotyledoneae Arecaceae plant, which is a species of common variation in Taiwan. It can be found in southeast China and Formosan Date Palm vegetates mainly in dry and sterile soil, with even-pinnate shaped leaf, and it can be used for broom after being dried out and bundled together. When it blossoms, due to its large inflorescence, making it easy to pollinate, it is the best nectar origin for insects. When fruits mature, the outer pulp turns dark black, and is sweet to eat. The fruit is one of the main sources of food for wildlife animals.

Conservation Results Till Now

In order to fully understand the distribution and the growth status of Formosan Date Palm in the area, the administration has sent the staff to investigate all the trees in the area and hang them with number plates. It is found there are 2,250 plants in the area, which offers great values to preservation and academic matters as it helps our academicians and future generation to appreciate the ecological environment of the plant. Currently, young trees are discovered in the area, without sign of withering, illegal logging and picking. Therefore, the forest and woods structure in the area is well intact.

Since S. Cross-Island Highway runs through the area, the transportation is convenient, while the steep topography creates fantastic views. The combination of green mountains, clear water, and small bridges makes the area a perfect spot for recreational activities. The area can be accessed through Hai-duan, Chu-lai in Taitung, and can also be accessed through Taoyuan, Sian-yang, Li-dao in Pingtung. The convenience of the area attracts endless tourists to have water activities, barbecue, and mountain climbing. Because of these frequent activities, the main task is to prevent the outbreak of fire. Guangshan station sends guards for regular patrols to the area two to three times every month.

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Visit counts:2826 Last updated on:2016-07-13