Budai Wetlands

Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Extent of this site: to the north is reclaimed lands on the south side of the canal at Budai Harbor; the southern border is the southern levee of the Bachang River; the eastern border is Provincial Highway 17 to the edge of No. 8 and 9 Budai salt fields; on the west, are inundated flats where the Longgong and Bachang Rivers enter the Taiwan Strait. There are several villages at this site, with most residents living on ocean. The economic sources include aquaculture, fishing, and drying salt. The main terrestrial area includes the No. 6-10 salt fields and the artificial aquaculture ponds as well as human cultivated wetlands. Through these areas, the Longgong and Bachang River systems pass through this area and enter the Taiwan Strait on the west side. At the estuary, sand accumulating from the ocean currents has formed a lagoon system. Here the intertidal zones which include the river channel, rivermouth, and lagoon experiences two tidal cycles daily, so the mud flats are alternately exposed and inundated. In addition, the estuary and lagoon support abundant fisheries resources; for these reasons, the area attracts all kinds of shorebirds and flocks of sea birds which both pass through on migration and stay over winter here. The salt fields support bird feeding and roosting, and are the breeding site for some resident species.

Key biodiversity
IBA A1 criterion species: Saunders’s Gull, Black-faced Spoonbill: • 26 birds in Dec. 1996; 65 in Dec. 1997; and 21 in Jan. 1999 of Saunders’s Gull were recorded. This site has more space for Saunders’s Gulls, so there is the potential for the flock to expand. • A number of 7 Black-faced Spoonbills was recorded in Jan. 2000 including 2 juveniles. • At this site 150 species have been recorded. • Records of the Black-winged Stilt are 24 birds in 1995; 82 in 1996; 105 in 1997; 147 in 1998; and 61 in 1999. There has been stable annual growth in the population here, so this site is important to the growth of this population, and there is great potential for further expansion, because of the abundant fisheries resources from the estuary and fish ponds. 13 species of the Laridae winter here or are passage migrants and constitute the largest group than at any site in Taiwan. Each year up to 5,000 Black-headed Gulls, up to 300 Caspian Terns, up to 1,000 Whiskered Terns winter here; and over 1,000 White-winged Black Terns and 500 Little Terns pass through on migration with a small number wintering here.

Non-bird biodiversity: • On the western edge of the lagoon there is a dense stand of the Black Mangrove Avicennia marina covering about 6 ha. • There are abundant numbers and species of crabs, including Philyra pisum and Macrophthalmus abbreviatus.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• There is seawall construction. At the Haomeiliao Nature Area on the north side of the Longgong River there is a large stand of mangrove. However, the seawall construction by Taiwan Salt Company resulted in the destruction of a portion of the mangrove stand. • There are natural disasters like typhoons, etc. • The proposed coastal highway is scheduled to pass through the site. • There is excessive opening of fishponds. • The sand dunes are disappearing from sand extraction for land reclamation.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Lobbying activities: • The 1994 Demonstration Plan of Environmentally Sensitive Areas of the Coastal Areas in Taiwan listed the Budai Yanshui. • 1996, the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute began replanting the important Four-petaled Mangrove Rhizophora mucronata and Lumnitzera Lumnitzera racemosa. • The Chiayi County Ecological Conservation Society is restoring the mangrove Kandelia Kandelia candel here. Legislation: • In 1985, the Executive Yuan approved elevating the Haomeiliao area to the Haomeiliao Nature Area in the Taiwan Coastal Area Natural Conservation Plan.

Habitat and land use
• Budai once has the largest area of salt fields with the highest production in Taiwan, and they operate the evaporation ponds up to 287 days per year, with exports to Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, etc.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Budai Wetlands. Downloaded from on 25/01/2022.