Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Extent of this site: The northern border is south of Provincial Highway 3, west of Yunlin County Highway 61, and east of the Linnei City district; the eastern border is the boundary between Yunlin and Nantou Counties; the southern border is from Nanshihkeng and Lunweikeng on the upstream sections of the Meilin River to the east and north. This site includes the Taiwan Forestry Bureau’s Ali Mt. District, Forest Compartment 11, and about 100 ha of the Pillow Mt. area. Principally the Site comprises the upstream section of the Huwei River, including part of the mountain area at Linnei, Douliu, and Gukeng. The highest elevation is at Muguatan Mt. with the height of 519 m near Gukeng’s northern border. The territory includes Forest Compartments 61-73 in which the Thorny Bamboo is predominantly cultivated. There are plantations of fruit orchards, orange groves, and betel nut only in the small section of Compartments 62-68. Scattered among these economic areas are second growth forests. At this site, the climate can be divided into wet and dry seasons, with the rains coming in April to October, when average annual precipitation exceeds 2,000 mm. The dry season is from December to February with less than 500 mm of rain. Within this site, most of the area is public land belonging to the Taiwan Forestry Bureau, among which 105 ha is privately owned.

Key biodiversity
IBA Al criterion species: Fairy Pitta • This is a breeding site for the Fairy Pitta. In June 2000, more than 20 pairs were recorded. • At this site, 97 species in 33 families have been recorded, among which are 5 endemic species, 32 sub-endemic species, and 25 protected species. • The endemic species are Formosan Blue Magpie, White-throated Hill Partridge, Swinhoe’s Pheasant, White-eared Sibia, and Steere’s Liocichla.

Non-bird biodiversity: • Also found here are the Formosan Macaque Macaca cyclopis, Formosan Ferret-Badger Melogale moschata subaurantiaca, Crab-eating Mongoose Herpestes urva, Formosan Gem-faced Civet Paguma larvata taivana, Leopard Cat Prinnailarus bengalensis bengalensis Gray, White-faced Flying Squirrel Petaurista alborufus lena, Large Red Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista grandis, Chinese Cobra Naja naja atra, Taiwan Banded Krait Bungarus multicinctus, Moltreche’s Green Tree Frog Rhacophorus moltrechti, Microhyla heymonsi. Microhyla inornata, and Yellow-lined Box Turtle Cyclemys flaeomarginata.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• Gravel extraction threatens bird habitats. • Agricultural methods are changing and habitats are being destroyed.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Lobbying activities: • In October 1998, Huben Village cooperated with the Council for Cultural Affairs to promote the Plan and Actions for Community Development. • On 1 March 1999, Huben Village wrote a letter to the Yunlin County Government to express the opposition to gravel extraction at Pillow Mt. • On 20 March 1999, a group was organized by the Huben villagers to oppose gravel extraction. • On 17 October 1999, the Wild Bird Society of Yunlin was established, and the president of WBFT, Shihching Liao was invited to give a speech. After the speech, the local people in talking with Liao learned that people in Yunlin’s Huben Village have for a long time called a quite common seen bird ‘jian-gai-zai’, which is just the rarely seen Fairy Pitta in Taiwan. • On 20 November 1999, village mayor Yin made a special trip north to the Second National Bird Conference to plead with birders throughout Taiwan to assist in activities for the emergency rescue of the Pitta’s important habitat. • On 9 December 1999, the “Sign to Save the home of Taiwan’s Fairy Pitta--Huben Village” was set up on the internet. • In February 1999, the WBFT issued an appeal worldwidely to cooperate in the “Emergency Rescue of the Fairy Pitta’s Home-Huben Village”. By the end of May 2000, 73 conservation organizations in 21 countries had answered the appeal and joined the efforts. • In March 2000, the COA commissioned the TESRI to investigate the ecology and environment of the Fairy Pitta at Huben from May to October. • On 13 June 2000, the Legislative Yuan’s Sustainable Development Council, the WBFT and Huben Village Mayor Yin jointly sponsored a press conference announcing the “Emergency Rescue of the Fairy Pitta’s Home Huben Village”. • On 14 June 2000, President Chen expressed his concern, and called on the public to help save the Fairy Pitta. The President indicated that “Taiwan is a beautiful island and gives due consideration to both conservation of the natural environment and industrial development. People living in harmony with nature means that the environment will be healthy and will last forever. If Taiwan lost the Fairy Pitta, we would not only lose the most beautiful creature in Taiwan, but the whole world would be poorer place.” • On 23 June 2000, the COA issued that, according to the rules governing soil and gravel extraction, they would coordinate the suspension of gravel extraction at Linnei Village’s Pillow Mt. • On 5 July 2000, the COA stated that, “regarding the matter of the conservation of the Fairy Pitta, after the complete results of the investigations of TESRI are available and based on the recommendations of academic experts, community development should be harmonized by beneficial and appropriate management, to reach a balance between the needs of both ecological conservation and economic development”.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Huben. Downloaded from on 13/04/2021.