The country of Taiwan houses nine national parks which are administered by the Ministry of the Interior. The national parks together cover an area of 7,489.49 square kilometers in the country. In 1937, the first national park of Taiwan was established when the country was ruled by the Japanese. However, post World War II, the protection of country’s natural environment lost importance under the Martial Law of Taiwan. Later, the need to conserve the fast- disappearing wildlife of the country was felt and in 1972, the National Park Law was passed. New national parks began to be established in the country in 1984. Here we describe the nine national parks of Taiwan and their unique features.
9. South Penghu Marine National Park -
South Penghu Marine National Park is located in Taiwan’s south Penghu. A number of smaller islands are located in the national park. The national park, spanning an area of 358.44 square km, is governed by the Marine National Park Headquarters of Taiwan. Of this total area, 354.73 square km is water, and 3.70 square km is land. The islands attract many species of migratory birds. Coral reefs in the region are rich in marine biodiversity. 254 fish species and 154 coral species are found in the national park.
8. Taijiang National Park -
The Taijiang National Park is a national park located in Taiwan that was established in 2009. The greatest part of the park is part of the Tainan city. Rivers in the region house about 205 species shellfish, 49 species of crabs, and 240 fish species. The abundance of wetland habitat in the Taijiang National Park attracts a great diversity of migratory birds, fish, and shrimps. 11 species of mammals inhabit the area including the Japanese house bat, house shrew, greater bandicoot rat, and others. The Chinese edible frog, spectacled toad, common house gecko, Taiwan beauty rat snake, etc., are some of the amphibians and reptiles living in the Taijiang National Park.
7. Dongsha Atoll National Park -
The Dongsha Atoll National Park was established on January 17, 2007, and is managed by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China. The territory of the national park includes the Dongsha Island, an atoll with a diameter of 25 km on the South China Sea. Surrounding sea areas are also included within the territory of the national park. The total area occupied by the park is 3,537 square km of which only 1.79 square km is land. The seagrass beds in the atoll, and adjacent waters serve as a rich habitat for marine life like jellyfish, rays, Dugongs, cetaceans, green sea turtles, squids, rays, and several species of fish.
6. Kinmen National Park -
The Kinmen National Park spans the two islands of Lesser Kinmen and Greater Kinmen in Taiwan. The Republic of China administers these islands. The park can be divided into five areas, the Mashan Hill, Taiwu Mountain, Kuningtou, Lieyu, Gugang. The Kinmen National Park covers an area of 35.29 square km. The national park’s subtropical climate and low surrounding population density make it an ideal haven for visits by migratory birds. Over 319 species of birds have been observed at the Kinmen National Park.
5. Shei-Pa National Park -
The Shei-Pa National Park is a national park in Taiwan located in the central part of the country in the vicinity of the Dabajian Mountain Hsuehshan peaks. A wide range of ecosystems are encompassed by the park, and its elevation varies from 760 meters to 3,886 meters. The Xueshan Peak, the second tallest mountain in Taiwan serves as the highest point in Taiwan. The headwaters of some of Taiwan's major rivers trace their location within the boundaries of the Shei-Pa National Park.
4. Taroko National Park -
The most notable feature of the Taroko National Park is the Taroko Gorge after which it is named. The Gorge has been carved by the Liwu River. The national park spans the Hualien County, Nantou Country, and the Taichung Municipality of Taiwan. The Taroko Gorge is also nicknamed as the “The Marble Gorge” due to the abundant supply of marble in the area.
3. Yangmingshan National Park -
One of Taiwan’s nine national parks, the Yangmingshan National Park is located between New Taipei City and Taipei. The national park is quite famous among tourists for its hot springs, hiking trails, cherry blossoms, venomous snakes, and also the Seven Star Mountain which is the country’s tallest dormant volcano. The Yangmingshan National Park is also well-known for its scenic beauty including valleys, lakes, ridges, waterfalls, and basins. The national park also hosts a diversity of birds and butterflies.
2. Yushan National Park -
Yushan National Park is named after its tallest peak, the Yushan peak. The national park encompasses a land area of 103,121 hectares and includes a major portion of the Central Mountain Range within its boundary. More than 30 peaks of over 3,000 meters elevation are housed here. The Yushan National Park’s unique geography supports a diversity of flora and flora. The vegetation ranges from subtropical at the foothills to alpine at the highest elevations. Nearly half of the native plant species of Taiwan grow within the park. 50 mammalian, 18 reptilian, 13 avian, 780 insects and 151 fish species inhabit the Yushan National Park.
1. Kenting National Park -
The Kenting National Park is the southernmost and oldest national park of Taiwan. It is located in the country’s Pingtung County. The national park was established on January 1, 1984, and encompasses an area of 181 square km. The picturesque Kenting National Park is surrounded by the Luzon and Taiwan Strait and also the Pacific Ocean. Coral sea cliffs, limestone caves, coral tablelands, mountains, and winding rivers constitute the landscape of the park. A rich biodiversity is hosted by the national park. 310 species of avifauna, 59 reptilian species, 15 mammalian species, 216 butterfly species, 21 species of freshwater fish, and numerous species of invertebrates call the Kenting National Park their home. The ocean surrounding the park supports a marine ecosystem inhabited by bull sharks, whale sharks, hawksbill turtles, dugongs, and other marine species.