Hsinchu City Coastal Area

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Extent of this site: the northern border is the southern levee of Hsinchu City Harbor; the southern border is Nankang where Hsinchu City and Miaoli County join; the eastern boundary is Provincial Highway 61; and the western boundary is the low tide line of the Hsinchu coastline. The intertidal zone of the Hsinchu City Coastline is west to the Hsinchu City, and is the only intertidal zone of the city. The full length of the coastline is 16 km. The coastline between Hsinchu Harbor’s southern levee and the north shore of the Keya River estuary, with a length of 6 km, keeps on being eroded by the current due to the inappropriate design of the construction. The landscape and natural features of the coastline from north to south include: the northernmost parcel is an incinerator where the closed Nanliao landfill stood; then there are agricultural fields, a youth recreational center, Joncheng Lake, the Keya River, Chinshui Landfill, Hsiangshan Beach, an ocean fishing area. Hsiangshan Harbor, and fallow fields. The agricultural fields are mostly wet paddy fields on which farmers grow rice two times a year. The Fengshan River, the Touchian River, and the Keya River all end at the intertidal zone and bring abundant gravel resources. The intertidal zone from the south of the Keya River estuary includes extensive flat land which inhabit diversified fish, shrimp, crabs, and shellfish, and has attracted over a hundred species of birds who pass through on migration or who roost here.

Key biodiversity
IBA A1 criterion species: Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunder’s Gull, Chinese Egret • Black-faced Spoonbill, a maximum of 11 birds was recorded in 2001. • Saunders’s Gull, a maximum of 56 birds was recorded in 1992. • Chinese Egret, a maximum of 9 birds was recorded in 1996. • At this site 280 species have been recorded. Of particular interest are yearly visits by Grey Plover, about 500 birds; Kentish Plover, 1,000-3,000 birds with a maximum of 3,000 in 1993.

Non-bird biodiversity: • At this site 33 species of shellfish have been recorded, as well as 40 species of crabs totally exceeding 200 million individuals. Among these, Mictyris brevidactylus and Macrophthalmus banzai crabs numbers reach 100 million; Uca formosensis and Scopimera bitympana crabs can reach 15-20 million individuals. This site is the most important tidal zone crab habitat north of the Dachia River.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• The construction of the Western Coast Highway lead to the destruction of the habitat ecosystem. • Fishponds occupy land. • There is competition between endemic and alien animals. • Along the coastal area, the water is becoming eutrophied. • The Hsinchu City government plans to reclaim land on the south shore of the Keya River in order to build the Chinshui water treatment plant. • An underground sewer system is planned for Hsinchu City, which calls for 25 ha to be reclaimed from the sea on the west side of the Chinshui landfill, for constructing the Keya water treatment plant. The design height of the plant is 14 m.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Lobbying activities: • In 1994, the Planning examples of environmentally sensitive areas at the coast of Taiwan identified the following areas as sensitive sites within this area: Hsinfeng Hongmao Harbor/Fengshan River estuary, Touchian River/Fengshan River estuary, Hsiangshan, and Hsinchu County’s Chunggang River estuary. • In 1992, the Taiwan Provincial Government began the Hsiangshan Tidal Land Reclamation Development Plan projected for two stages of land reclamation and development, which the Wild Bird Society of Hsinchu and local conservation organizations opposed, arguing an environmental impact assessment was needed according to the law. In 1995, the report of the environmental impact assessment for the land reclamation development plan was completed. After procrastinating 8.5 years with the development plan, the final conclusion was reached on l9 December 2000 at the first hearing of the fifth EIA. The land reclamation development plan was rejected due to the unsuitable situation of the area for further development. Legislation: • The Wildlife Conservation Consultation Committee of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan passed the proposal of establishing Hsinchu City Keya Rivermouth and Hsiangshan Wildlife Major Habitat on 1 May 2001.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hsinchu City Coastal Area. Downloaded from on 13/08/2022.