National parks of Taiwan
National parks of Taiwan are protected spaces for their nature, wildlife, and history in its current jurisdiction. Currently there are nine national parks in Taiwan, all are under the administration of the Ministry of the Interior. These national parks covers 7,489.49 square kilometres (2,891.71 sq mi). The 3,103.76-square-kilometre (1,198.37 sq mi) total land area constitutes around 8.6% of the entire land area of the country.
The first national parks were established in 1937, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. After World War II, the voice for protecting the natural environment was suspended due to the autocratic rule and the Martial law in Taiwan. The National Park Law was passed in 1972 and finally the first new national parks were reestablished in 1984.
National parks should not be confused with national scenic areas. The national scenic areas are administrated by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. There are also different philosophies that govern the development of the two types of areas. 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.
Current national parks of Taiwan
|Kenting National Park||332.90 km2 (82,261.4 acres), 180.84 km2 of land, and 152.06 km2 water||1984||Located on the southern tip of Taiwan, it is also the oldest national park on the Taiwan (Pingtung County), Kenting is famous for its tropical coral reef and migratory birds.|
|Yushan National Park||1,031.21 km2 (254,817.5 acres)||1985||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.|
|Yangmingshan National Park||113.38 km2 (28,016.8 acres)||1985||The 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.|
|Taroko National Park||920 km2 (227,337.0 acres)||1986||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.|
|Shei-Pa National Park||768.5 km2 (189,900.5 acres)||1992||Located in the central northern part of Taiwan island, in Hsinchu County and Miaoli County. It is the home of Xueshan, or Snow Mountain, Taiwan and East Asia's second tallest mountain, and of Dabajian Mountain and the Holy Ridge.|
|Kinmen National Park||35.29 km2 (8,720.3 acres)||1995||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.|
|Dongsha Atoll National Park||3,536.68 km2 (873,932.7 acres), including 1.79 km2 of land||2007||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 (97,137.1 acres), 49.05 km2 of land, and 344.05 km2 water||2009||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.|
|South Penghu Marine National Park||358.44 km2 (88,572.5 acres), including 3.70 km2 of land||2014||Located in the south of Penghu. The seas feature large clusters of Acropora coral and a diversity of fish and shells living among the reefs. The islets are also known for magnificent basalt terrains and unique low-roofed houses built by early inhabitants with coral stone and basalt.|
Past Japanese national parks in Taiwan
|Daiton National Park||大屯國立公園||Now Yangmingshan National Park|
|Nītaka-Arisan National Park||新高阿里山國立公園||Now Yushan National Park and Alishan National Scenic Area|
|Tsugitaka-Taroko National Park||次高タロコ國立公園||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.
Proposed national parks
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)
- 綠島國家公園 ("Green Island National Park", opposed by the inhabitants.)
- 北方三島海洋國家公園（"Three Northern Islets Marine National Park"）
Current national nature parks
|Shoushan National Nature Park||11.23 km2 (2,775.0 acres)||2011||Kaohisung|
- 各國家公園基本資料表 (PDF) (in Chinese). Construction and Planning Agency, Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.[permanent dead link]
- Reference on Act Title from Kinmen Park website
- "Taiwan's National Scenic Areas: Balancing Preservation and Recreation". Academia Sinica. 1995-06-01.
- "Beauty of south Penghu islets on display at new national park". Central News Agency. 18 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
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