Taiwan is a mountainous island in Asia with the largest and most dense mountains in the world. Most of her mountains have high peaks with elevations of more than 3000m above sea level. Most of the mountains are in the one or more of the five mountain ranges in Taiwan: the central, east coast, Xueshan, Yushan, and the Alishan mountain ranges. These mountain ranges are home to a rich and abundant biodiversity of flora and fauna with some endemic species, some of which are extinct and others facing threats. The high altitudes of these mountains make it a fragile ecosystem because of the diverse species at different altitudinal zones.
Tallest Mountains In Taiwan
Yushan is the tallest mountain in Taiwan at an elevation of 12966ft. The mountain is in the Yushan ranges in the Yushan National Park. The Mountain is also known as the Jade Mountain because of the shiny stainless snow cover on the peak during winter. The mountain is home to pristine forests and the most diverse wildlife most of which is endemic or rare. Vegetation variety in the Yushan includes deciduous, coniferous and evergreen broadleaf forests with mosses and liverworts in the higher altitudes. Yushan attracts a lot of mountain climbers and hikers.
Xueshan is named after its parent range and is the second highest in Taiwan at an elevation of 12749ft. The mountain is in Shei-Pa National Park. Mountaineering and hiking are the favorite sporting activities on the mountain with the easiest route being the maintained trail. The mountain gets snow cover during the winter season. The mountain houses a rich diversity of both plants and animals that are rare and some are endemic to Taiwan. There are rivers with their origins and flows through the mountain.
Shukoran is Taiwan’s third highest mountain found in the central mountain range at an elevation of 12664ft. The mountain is located in the Yushan national park and has a series of rivers flowing near Shukoran Mountain. The mountain is home to broadleaf forests and subtropical moist forest. The mountain is located in the active zone of Taiwan making it prone to constant earthquakes which are usually strong as well as frequent landslides and flooding in its lowland areas.
Mabolasi Mountain is in the central mountain range at an elevation of 12352ft making it the fourth highest mountain in Taiwan. The mountain is located in the Yushan National Park, therefore, shares the rich biodiversity found within this park coupled with its high altitudes that support different species of both plants and animals. Some rivers in Taiwan trace their origins to Mabolasi Mountain ranges
Human Interaction With The Mountains
The high mountain peaks including Nanhu Dashan, Chung Yang, Kanzan, Dongjunda Shan, Xiangyang Shan, and Dajian are an attraction especially for mountain climbing and hiking which are favourite practic by the local as well as international community. These mountain environments have, however, been overexploited leading to a decline in the biodiversity of the mountain ranges. Overexploitation takes the form of deforestation to acquire farming land, industrialization, logging, pollution, and hunting of threatened species for trade leading to a decline in the species and extinction of others.