Site description (2001 baseline):

Site location and context
Extent of this site : located about 6.5 km southeast of Liukuei, on an extension ridge of the southern tip of the Central Mountain Range, and belongs to the Laonung River watershed in the low to mid- elevation broadleaf forest zone. This area was formed by erosion of the river systems creating a framework like a fan (san in Chinese) extending over a flat (ping in Chinese), smooth land, and so this is how the area got its name. The annual average temperature is 21 C. This site, at the end of the Sanping forest road, is under the administration of the Liukuei Station of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI), Council of Agriculture (COA). Before the return of Taiwan from the Japanese, Tokyo Imperial University set up several forests in Taiwan for military purposes. Leadger bark cinchona Cinchona ledgeriana was the primary species planted in these forests. After peeling the tree bark, it was boiled producing quinine, to be used by Japanese soldiers in South Asia for the treatment of malaria. The experimental forestland principally consists of low to mid-elevation broadleaf forests. The vegetation is composed mostly of natural virgin forests principally of species of the Lauraceae and Fagaceae. Currently this is an important site in southern Taiwan for forest ecosystem research.

Key biodiversity
IBA A2 criterion species: Nine endemic species are commonly seen here: Formosan Blue Magpie, Formosan Whistling Thrush, Collared Bush Robin, White-eared Sibia, Steere’s Liocichia, White-throated Hill Partridge, Formosan Yuhina, Swinhoe’s Pheasant and Formosan Barwing. • At this site, 134 species of birds have been recorded including Maroon Oriole, Black Paradise Flycatcher, Hodgson’s Hawk Eagle, and Indian Black Eagle. • About 2/3 of the resident birds of Taiwan are found here. This is an important site in southern Taiwan for bird watching and has been called a “birdwatcher’s paradise”.

Non-bird biodiversity: • Wildlife includes Formosan Macaque Macaca cyclopis, Formosan Serow Capricornis crispus swinhoei, Formosan Wild Boar Sus scrofa taivanus, Red-bellied Tree Squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus, and White-faced Flying Squirrel Petaurista alborufus lena. • The vegetation is comprised of temperate broadleaf forests, with dominant species of Large-leaved Nanmu Machilus kusanoi, Large Bark Cinchona Cinchona ledgeriana, Botel Tobago Cinnamon Tree Cinnamomum micranthum and Blue Japanese Oak Cyclobalanopsis glauca. • In the 1960’s, a total of more than 10-ha Ma Bamboo Dendrocalamus latiflorus forests was cultivated at Sanping which was an important source of bamboo shoot.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• This is a tourist destination. • There are various threats impacting on bird species. • There are natural disasters, such as mudslide.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Legislation: • In 1985, the Sanping Forest Classroom was established. In 1994, the provincial government included funds in the budget to establish a nature education center, with a proposed area of 933 ha. This was the first nature education center in Taiwan.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Sanping. Downloaded from on 21/02/2024.