Country/territory: Taiwan, China

IBA criteria met: A1 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 2,340 ha

Site description (baseline)
Extent of this site: to the south are Ilan County Roads 192 and 6; to the west is the railway; to the north is Chinmian River to Chuan Estuary; and to the east is the coastline. Birdwatching sites include Chu’an, Hsiapu, Dachuwei, Wugu, and Wendi. The area around Chu’an was once a large swamp encompassed Chu’an, Hsiapu, Dachuwei, Wugu and Wendi and served as habitat for many migratory waterbirds in the past. However, after aquaculture ponds were established in 1986, this area was developed for fisheries and agricultural use, which was very unfavorable to birds. In recent years, the aquaculture industry has been deeply hurt by diseases, and many ponds have been deserted, a situation favorable for birds. Unfortunately, the plan of constructing a highway will adversely affect the birds again. Nevertheless, this area is still one of the important resting spots for migratory birds in northern Ilan County. Regarding land use at the site, 35% is occupied by aquaculture ponds. 55% is fallow rice fields in fall and winter, and 5% is residential use.

Key biodiversity
IBA A1 criterion species: Black-faced Spoonbill • Black-faced Spoonbills visit the Lanyang River Estuary during their back and forth movements, with a maximum of 8 birds in April 1998. • Chinese Egrets use this area annually in spring and autumn, with a maximum of 8 birds. • Saunders’s Gulls form mixed flocks with Black-headed Gulls. A maximum of 21 birds was recorded, but numbers are decreasing. • Baer’s Pochard often winters here, with a maximum of 4 birds recorded. Baikal Teals mix with Green-winged Teal in winter. Spoon-billed Sandpipers are recorded occasionally. • At this site, 212 species of birds have been recorded, including the following vagrants: Lesser Frigate Bird, Japanese Cormorant, Eurasian Bittern, White Spoonbill, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Bean Goose, and Black Stork. Purple Herons are winter migrants with the maximum record of 6. • This IBA site is the northernmost range of the endemic Formosan Bulbul.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Chu'an. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023.