Yellow Butterfly Valley

Country/territory: Taiwan, China

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

Area: 2,135 ha

Site description
Extent of this site: Yellow Butterfly Valley is located at the northeast corner of Kaohsiung County’s Meinung Township, on a tributary of the Chishan River- the upstream section and watershed of the Meinung Stream, surrounded by hilly land. Within the valley is the famous Twin Creek Tropical Plant Nursery. The land principally belongs to Taiwan Forestry Bureau forest compartments, with narrow strips of land on both sides of the river in private hands. According to records from the time of the Japanese occupation, the Japanese government selected the mountain area from Meinung to Liukuei for the large-scale planting of the Bombay Black Wood Cassia siamea to be used for making rifle stocks and railroad ties. The extensive planting of this tree subsequently supported flourishing populations of Catopsilia pomona butterflies. In this area each year flocks of over 50 million individuals of Eurema and other butterfly species gather together in what is called the “Happy Isle”. In recent years, many of the original forests were changed into orchards and lead to the decreasing of the habitats for butterflies. In addition, after the plan of constructing the Meinung Reservoir was exposed to the public, many people started to cultivate the lands within the proposed reservoir in order to get compensate from the government for their lands been levied to construct the reservoir. Consequently, the habitat of Catopsilia pomona has been destroyed and is now nearly exhausted. This area contains the most complete preservation of Hakka culture in Taiwan.

Key biodiversity
IBA Al criterion species: Fairy Pitta • Fairy Pitta with 10 birds in 1993; 6 in 1994; 2 in 1995; 2 in 1996; 2 in 1997; 2 in 1998: 4 in 1999; Records from many years indicate that the Fairy Pitta is a summer visitor at this site, and can be seen on average from May to September. It has been recorded nesting here, and there are observations of raising young. • At this site 82 species have been recorded, among which are the rare Maroon Oriole, Besra Sparrow Hawk, Asian Crested Goshawk and Hodgson’s Hawk Eagle.

Non-bird biodiversity: • At the Twin Creek Tropical Plant Nursery, in 1935 during the Japanese occupation, the Japanese imported many species of trees, selecting the most suitable for creating man-made forests, so it is called the Chutoujiao Tropical Tree Garden. Currently the plant nursery covers 7.56 ha. and 96 species of introduced species survive. • This site is important habitat for the butterfly Catopsilia pomona.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yellow Butterfly Valley. Downloaded from on 01/07/2022.