Hualien River Estuary

Country/territory: Taiwan, China

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

Area: 464 ha

Site description
Extent of this site: in the north from the levee on the north edge of the Amei Cultural Village south for 8 km to Provincial Highway 11; in the west from where the Mugua and Hualien Rivers converge at the Hualien Bridge east to below Lingding on the coastline to about the low tide line. County Road 193 is the primary transportation route. The natural landscape includes the convergence of the Hualien River and the Pacific Ocean, and the river beach wetlands. From the Hualien River Bridge downstream to the estuary there is much silt which, under the interaction of the tidal influence, has formed wetlands where fresh and saltwater mix. Shallow water areas, muddy beaches, and sand flats are formed. Average annual temperature is about 22.78°C, average annual relative humidity is 53%~82%, and average annual precipitation is 2,400 mm. The Hualien River Estuary is one of the important sites on Taiwan’s east coast for migrating and over-wintering birds. The site includes the unique culture of the Amei Aboriginals, who have worshiped the sea at Chi’an for many generations.

Key biodiversity
IBA Al criterion species: Chinese Egret • Each year in April and May Chinese Egret (CE) passes through this area, with a maximum of 38 birds: Date 4/1995 5/1996 5/1997 4/1998 4/1999 5/2000 No. of CE 38 25 4 5 3 17 • At this site, 180 species have been recorded; important migrants include numerous Scolopacidae, Charadriidae, Anatidae and Ardeidae in fall: the Laridae is dominant in spring. • Special birds include the globally threatened Chinese Egret, Black-faced Spoonbill, and Baikal Teal; the endemic Formosan Bulbul, the rare Mandarin Duck and Little Tern (up to 400 birds) can also be observed.

Non-bird biodiversity: • In 1997, the mangrove Kandelia Kandelia candel was restored in the estuary. • Each November, there is the spectacular sight of young Varuna litterata crabs scurrying from the sea into the freshwater.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hualien River Estuary. Downloaded from on 20/01/2022.