List of national parks in Taiwan
A National Park should not be confused with a National Scenic Area: the latter fall within the control of the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Republic of China, while National Parks fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China. The philosophies that govern the development of the two types of areas differ. For a National Park, the emphasis is on the preservation of natural and cultural resources, and development for human utilization is definitely a secondary priority.
The following is a list of the National Parks of the Republic of China:
- Kenting National Park (326.31 km2: 177.31 km2 of land, and 149 km2 water), located on the southern tip of Taiwan, it is also the oldest national park on the Taiwan (Pingdong County), Kenting is famous for its tropical coral reef and migratory birds.
- Kinmen National Park (37.8 km2): due to its proximity to Mainland China, there are historical battlefields in Kinmen. It is also famous for its wetland ecosystem and its traditional Fujian buildings that dated back to the Ming Dynasty. It is not located on Taiwan Island, but instead on an island just off the coast of Mainland China.
- Shei-Pa National Park (768.5 km2), located in the central northern part of Taiwan island, in Hsinchu County and Miaoli County. It is the home of Hsuehshan, or Snow Mountain, Taiwan and East Asia's second tallest mountain, and of Dabajianshan and the Holy Ridge.
- Taroko National Park (920 km2), a magnificent marble gorge cut by Li-Wu River, creating one of the most astounding landscape in the world. It is also the home of the indigenous Truku people. Taroko is located in eastern Taiwan.
- Yangmingshan National Park (114.56 km2), the smallest and northernmost national park on the island of Taiwan; it has a volcanic landform. Yangminshan is famous for its hotsprings and geothermal phenomenon. Each spring, Yangminshan also have a dazzling flower season. It is partially in Taipei City and partially in New Taipei City.
- Yushan National Park (1054.9 km2), the largest national park in Taiwan, located on the central part of the island. it contains Jade Mountain (Yushan literally means "Jade Mountain", 3952 m) which is the highest peak in East Asia.
- Dongsha Marine National Park (3536.68 km2, including 1.74 km2 of land), the first oceanic National Park. It houses about 72 species of endemic plants,and 125 species of insects. Like Kinmen National Park, it is not located on Taiwan Island. Because strict protection is being taken on Dongsha, it is currently not open to public tourism.
- Taijiang National Park (393.1 km2: 49.05 km2 of land, and 344.05 km2 water), this newest national park is located in southwest Taiwan on the coast of Tainan. The park's tidal landscape is one of its most distinctive features. Around 200 years ago, a large part of the park was part of the Taijiang Inland Sea. There is a rich variety of marine life, including 205 species of shellfish, 240 species of fish and 49 crab species that thrive on the marshes of southern Taiwan.
The total area of these National Parks is 7,151.85 square kilometres (2,761.34 sq mi). The 3,123.86-square-kilometre (1,206.13 sq mi) total land area constitutes over 8.6% of the entire land area of the republic.
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National Parks in Taiwan under Japanese rule
- Daiton National Park (大屯国立公園): including what is now Yangmingshan
- Shintaka (New Highest) Arisan National Park (新高阿里山国立公園): now Yushan and Alishan
- Tsugitaka (Second Highest) Taroko National Park (次高タロコ国立公園): now Taroko National Park and Shei-Pa National Park
The administration of these National Parks was no longer in force when Japan withdrew from Taiwan in 1945 after World War II.
Additional National Parks
The Council for Economic Planning and Development of the Executive Yuan finalized the name of the first oceanic National Park – the Dongsha Marine National Park (東沙環礁國家公園) – to protect Dongsha’s marine ecology and its landscape features. Wu Hsiang-jen, director of the organizational committee for the oceanic park in Dongsha, said that research and long-term monitoring were the foundation for effective management and sustainable operation of the protected area. In the future, a resource survey, ecological research, determining the environmental impact of infrastructure and the overall planning for Dongsha will be top priorities.
Three other national parks were proposed but the plans of formation were halted due to opposition:
- 馬告檜木國家公園 ("Magao National Park for Chamaecyparis formosensis", opposed by local indigenous peoples)
- 能丹國家公園("Neng-Dan National Park", opposed by the Bunun people)
- 蘭嶼國家公園 ("Ponso no Tao National Park", opposed by the Tao people)
- Reference on Act Title from Kinmen Park website
- "Taiwan's National Scenic Areas: Balancing Preservation and Recreation". Academia Sinica. 1995-06-01.
- "National Parks in Taiwan". Taroko National Park website. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- New ocean park
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- National Parks of Taiwan (English)