Extent of this site: the northern border is the boundary between Nantou County’s Renai Village and Taichung County’s Heping Village; the southern border is Provincial Highway 14 and north; the eastern border is the boundary between Nantou County’s Renai Village and Hualien County’s Hsiulin Village; and the western border runs along a line formed by Wufanaiwei Mt, N. Hehuan Mt, Meisong Mt., and the Lihsing agricultural road and east.
This IBA is completely encompassed in the Ruiyan River Wildlife Major Habitat, which belongs to Forest Compartments 132-135 of the Puli Division under the management of the Nantou Forest District. This site is located at the geographical center of Taiwan; the vegetation diversity is high, and includes native broadleaf forests, mixed broadleaf-coniferous forests, coniferous forests, high-montane scrubs and grasslands, and forest riverine ecosystems. This area is representative of all the mountain vegetation in Taiwan.
IBA A2 criterion species: 11 endemic species are commonly seen here: The conservation targets are the 11 endemic species found here including White-eared Sibia, Swinhoe’s Pheasant, Mikado Pheasant, White-throated Hill Partridge, Formosan Laughing Thrush, Formosan Yellow Tit, Formosan Whistling Thrush, Collared Bush Robin, Steere’s Liocichia, Formosan Yuhina and Formosan Barwing.
• A total of 95 species has been recorded at this site, among which are the threatened species: Indian Black Eagle and Brown Wood Owl; and the protected species: Asian Crested Goshawk, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-faced Woodpecker, White-throated Laughing Thrush, Rufous Laughing Thrush, Collared Owlet, Green-backed Tit, Red-headed Tit, Blue Shortwing, Thicket Flycatcher, Vivid Niltava, and Yellow-throated Minivet. In particular, there are stable populations of the large Phasianidae and the Strigidae.
Non-bird biodiversity: • At this site, 747 species of vascular plants in 145 families have been recorded, including fragmented populations of the valuable Taiwan Yew Taxus mairei, Formosan Michelia Michelia formosana and Formosan Red Cypress Chamaecyparis formosensis forests and the rare Brassiopsis formosana and Nengkao Sweet Leaf Symplocos nokoensis.
• There are a total of 26 mammal species in 11 families. In March 1999 the first Formosan Tube-nosed Bat Murina puta was discovered overwintering here. Other animals include the Small Chinese Civet Viverricula indica pallida and Formosan Ferret-Badger Melogale moschata subaurantiaca.
• Twenty species of reptiles have been recorded including the Formosan salamander Hynobius formosanus, as well as 6 species of amphibians.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• There is illegal hunting and cutting of rare species. On Provincial Highway 14 are the Chingjing Farm and Hehuan Mountain tourist destinations, with good communications, so the rare Taiwan Yew contained in this area can easily be cut illegally
• At the edges, there is illegal opening of fields.
• The waterways carry away large volumes of the water resources, affecting the riverine habitats.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
• In 1991 the Taiwan Provincial Taiwan Forestry Bureau announced the Ruiyan River Nature Reserve.
• Because of the shrinkage of the Taiwan Provincial Government, in January 2000, the Ruiyan Nature Reserve was changed to the Ruiyan River Wildlife Refuge based on the Wildlife Conservation Law. Important protected targets are the rare plants and animals including Phasianidae, Strigidae and the Formosan Red Cypress as well as representative ecosystems.
• In October 2000, the COA re-announced Ruiyan River Wildlife Major Habitat and the area expanded to 2,574 ha.