The Ecosystems in Taiwan
Formosan Rock Macaque Macaca cyclopis ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
Taiwan is an island surrounded by the sea, with 42% of the land area comprised of mountain ranges. Among these mountains, there are more than 100 peaks over 3,000 meters high. Because of this topography, Taiwan incorporates numerous ecological zones, and a wide variety of ecosystems, and a correspondingly wide diversity of flora and fauna.
Taiwan Barwing Actinodura morrisoniana ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
There is the coastal zone with its marine ecosystem which includes coral reefs, beaches, estuaries, etc. Within various zones there are ecosystems associated with lakes and streams. There are a variety of tropical rainforest canopy, woodland, and forest ecosystems also within a variety of ecological zones ranging from sea level to over 3,000 meters in altitude; in addition, there are a number of ecosystems that have emerged as a result of the spread of the presence of man from rural farmlands to large cities.
White-tailed Robin Cinclidium leucurum ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
There are more than 9,000 species of birds in the world. Taiwan, with an area of 36,000 sq. km, has records of more than 577 species of birds, forming the second highest bird density anywhere in the world.
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
Taiwan belongs to the Oriental zoogeographical region, and the entire ecosystem here is very special. The birds found in Taiwan are related to those in mainland China and the Himalayas. Every autumn and winter, thousands of migratory birds fly south to the island, while some of the summer migrants from south China remain there the entire season.
Steere’s Liocichla Liocichla steerii ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
Some of their most valued birds are the residents, including around 22 endemic species, unique, national treasures of Taiwan which have attracted great concern and admiration of many foreign biologists and nature lovers.
White-whiskered Laughingthrush Garrulax morrisonianus ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
The endemics are: Taiwan Partridge Arborophila crudigularis, Swinhoe’s Pheasant Lophura swinhoii, Mikado Pheasant Syrmaticus Mikado, Taiwan Barbet Megalaima nuchalis, Styan’s Bulbul Pycnonotus taivanus, Taiwan Whistling-Thrush Myophonus insularis, White-whiskered Laughingthrush Garrulax morrisonianus, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush Garrulax ruficeps, Hwamei Garrulax taewanus, Collared Bush-Robin Tarsiger johnstoniae, Steere’s Liocichla Liocichla steerii, Taiwan Barwing Actinodura morrisoniana, White-eared Sibia Heterophasia auricularis, Taiwan Yuhina Yuhina brunneiceps,Taiwan Bush-warbler Bradypterus alishanensis, Taiwan Fulvetta Alcippe formosana, Flamecrest Regulus goodfellowi, Yellow Tit Parus holsti, Taiwan Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus musicus, Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis, Taiwan Wren-Babbler Pnoepyga formosanaand Taiwan Blue Magpie Urocissa caerulea.
Collared Bush-Robin Tarsiger johnstoniae ©Vaughan Ashby Birdfinders
Birding is closely related to the seasons, in summer there are resident birds and summer visitors, and in the other seasons there are the winter migrants from the north. It easy to find evidence of birds almost everywhere on the island. If you are patient and go outdoors to the mountains or seashores, you will be able to see many lovely birds hopping, flying and singing around you.
Major Source: Fatbirder
Photo Source: Birdfinders
Map Source: Googlemaps