Hanbao Wetlands

Country/territory: Taiwan, China

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 2,209 ha

Site description (baseline)
Extent of the site: the north border is formed by the Hanbao River; the south border is the Wanhsing canal; on the east is Provincial Highway 17; and on the west the site extends from the levee for 3 km seaward into the Taiwan Strait. The Hanbao area is administered by Fangyuan Village of Changhua County. To the northwest is the edge of the Taiwan Strait, to the north is the Tatu River Estuary, to the south is the Zhuoshui River Estuary, so this site sits at the middle of the sensitive coastal wetlands on Taiwan’s west coast. It is also a gathering spot for migrating birds on their way north and south. In the Hanbao area, the Hanbao River and the Wanhsing Canal empty into the Taiwan Strait. There are also many different types of habitats creating excellent bird roosting environments including model aquaculture farms, fish ponds, beaches, marshes, paddy fields, dry land, grassy scrub, wind-protection forests, rivers, and the sea. Economic activities in the Hanbao area consist mostly of oyster culture, fisheries, and agriculture; within the levee, the lands are under low-level development, including numerous fishponds and paddy fields. These economic activities do not constitute disturbance to birds; in contrast, they provide food and habitats for birds. However, a stable environment is not sustained at the area. Fish ponds are managed by emptying their water to expose the bottoms to the sun so they will dry up, and agricultural fields have harvest and fallow periods, so the environment is actively changing. Outside the levee, the land is predominantly used for oyster cultivation and coastal fisheries. Most oyster harvest and fishery activities occur during low tides, with most concentrated within 1 km of the shoreline, so the disturbance to birds is not great.

Key biodiversity
IBA Al criterion species: Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunders’s Gull • Black-faced Spoonbill, maximum of 6 in May 1996. • The maximum number of Saunders’s Gull (SG) was 600: Year 1995 winter 1996 spring 1996 winter 1997 winter 1998 winter 1999 spring 2000 spring 2001 spring No. of SG 65 600 174 15 105 76 8 311 • A total of 189 species have been recorded here. • Rare and protected species include: Chinese Egret, 6 birds; Oriental Ibis, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Common Pheasant, Painted Snipe, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Eastern Collared Pratincole (on 16 October 1999, there was a flock of over 1,000 birds), Black-naped Tern, Little Tern, and Black-naped Oriole • Other protected species: Black-faced Buzzard Eagle, Grey Frog Hawk, Brown Shrike, and Black-billed Magpie.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Hanbao Wetlands. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023.