Extent of this site: situated between the Da-an and the Tachia Rivers, and includes the Dahsuehshan forest recreational area, the Wushihkeng low-elevation research station of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI), and the Hsuehshankeng Nature Reserve of Miaoli County. On the south are Pochinjia Mt., Hsaolai River, and Wuwowei Mt.; on the east is Hsiaohsueh River; to the west is Wushihkeng River; and to the north is Mabihao River.
Because the change in elevation is great, stretches across four types of forest types of subtropical, warm, temperate, and frigid forest zones.
Because Dahsuehshan is a mid to high-elevation mountain area, the area’s birds will descend to lower elevations at Wushihkeng and Hsuehshankeng in the winter, and the ecology of these three areas are very Closely related.
Within this area there are several settlements of Atayal Aboriginals.
IBA A2 criterion species: Nine endemic species are commonly seen here: Formosan Barwing, Formosan Blue Magpie, Steere’s Liocichla, White-eared Sibia, Formosan Yuhina, Formosan Laughing Thrush, Taiwan Firecrest, Collared Bush Robin, Formosan Yellow Tit, Formosan Whistling Thrush, White-throated Hill Partridge, Swinhoe’s Pheasant, and Mikado Pheasant.
• At this site, 163 species of birds have been recorded. This is an important site for observing the endemic pheasants of Taiwan.
• At Wushihkeng, 104 species in 33 families have been recorded, among which are 7 endemic species, and 41 endemic subspecies.
• Dahsuehshan is one of the best birding places in Central Taiwan. One hundred and forty-two species were recorded including the protected Indian Black Eagle.
At Hsuehshankeng River Nature Reserve, 89 species have been recorded.
Non-bird biodiversity: • There are rich and abundant Formosan Red Cypress Chamaecyparis formosensis, False cypress Chamaecyparis taiwanensis and Taiwan hemlock Tsuga formosana virgin forests, this being an essential zone for Taiwan’s natural forests.
• The endemic Formosan Black Bear Selenarctos thibetanus formosanus has been recorded at the Dahsuehshan area.
• The mammals recorded at Wushihkeng include 19 species in 12 families. The endemics include Formosan Macaque Macaca cyclopis, Spinous Country-rat Niviventer coxihgi, and the Brown Country Rat Rattus losea. Thirteen species in three families of amphibians have been recorded among which are 6 endemics including Moltreche’s Green Tree Frog Rhacophorus moltrechti, Chirixalus idiootocus, Brown Tree Frog Rhacophorus robustus, Rhacophorus aurentiventris, Rana saureri and Rana longicrus.
• The Hsuehshankeng River Nature Reserve is home to 7 large mammals including Formosan Macaque Macaca cyclopis, Formosan Serow Capricornis crispus swinhoei, Formosan Reeve’s Muntjac Muntiacus reevesi micrurus, Formosan Wild Boar Sus scrofa taivanus, Formosan Gem-faced Civet Paguma larvata taivana, Chinese Mink Mustela sibirica devidiana, and the White-faced Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista alborufus lena.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
• There is illegal cutting of trees and opening of agricultural fields.
• There is illegal hunting.
• There are large volumes of tourists.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
• The lower-elevation research station of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI) Wushihkeing, Tzuyu Township, Heping Village was established in 1993. The station was built to collect and organize data on endemic and rare organisms and to conduct ecological investigations and conservation research. Investigations are carried out on 381.886 ha from elevations of 670 to 1,834 m.
• In 1985. the Dahsuehshan Forest Recreation Area was established with an area of 3,962.93 ha.
• The Hsuehshankeng River Nature Reserve protects the following: Wildlife Major Habitats and forests of Cinnamomum micranthum. The reserve is managed by the Taiwan Forestry Bureau’s Dongshih Forest Administration with an area of 350.99 ha, and elevation of about 1000-1900 m. After the Taiwan Provincial government was consolidated, according to the Wildlife Conservation Law, this area was designated as the Hsuehshankeng River Wildlife Major Habitat Environment.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tahsuehshan, Hsuehshankeng and Wushihkeng. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/01/2021.