Kaomei Wetlands

Country/territory: Taiwan, China

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

Area: 268 ha

Site description (baseline)
Extent of this site: includes the Dachia River mouth south for about 3.5 km to the Chingshui canal, and to the west outside the Gaomei sea wall extending seaward on the sand flats for about 1.5 km. This area is situated on the west side of Taichung County’s Chingshui Township and to the side of Taichung Harbor’s oil depot. The area was formed in few years by silt and sand accumulation resulting from the establishment of the Gaomei sea wall after the Taichung Harbor was constructed in 1976. In addition, the southern shore of the Dachia River estuary is actively being eroded with material being washed into the Taiwan Strait forming tidal areas. The characteristics of the partially isolated wetlands in the interior of this area are derived from the soil texture, plant cover, and freshwater inputs; the wetlands can be divided into estuary, marshy areas, sandy areas, cobble areas, and muddy areas. This site contains the largest currently known colony of the plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis in Taiwan, with an area of about 5 ha; it is stably spreading and flourishing. The coastal area windbreak forests of Ironwood Casuarina equisetifolia have grown into dense stands covering 176 ha. This is the only and largest protection forest around Taichung Harbor. The forest is luxurious and dense, forming excellent bird habitat. In addition to the natural resources, the cultural resources are also abundant in Chingshui Township including the relics of the Niumatou. In the future, a plan can combine preserving both the Gaomei Wetland and this area’s cultural customs.

Key biodiversity
IBA Al criterion species: Black-faced Spoonbill, Chinese Egret, Saunders’s Gull: • Black-faced Spoonbill, 13 birds in May 2000; • Chinese Egret, 6 birds in May 2000; • Saunders’s Gull, with a stable population overwintering here. Date Jan. 1997 Jan. 1997 1998 Winter 1999 Winter 2000 No. of Saunders’s Gull 255 232 94 125 95 • At this site 135 species in 34 families have been recorded including 9 species of protected birds: Black-faced Spoonbill, Chinese Egret, Osprey, Painted Snipe, Eastern Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, and Black-naped Tern.

Non-bird biodiversity: • Thirty species of crab in 7 families, and 136 species of plants in 45 families have been recorded here. • In addition to having the largest extent of the Bolboschoenus planiculmis in Taiwan, there is also the endemic Hydrophila pogonocalyx, and the endemic viviparous mangrove, Kandelia candel, where a 2-ha rehabilitated area of the species stands.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Kaomei Wetlands. Downloaded from on 28/05/2023.