Taijiang National Park

Around seven eighths of Taijiang National Park is water, so it’s fitting the park is named after a vast lagoon that once existed just north of Tainan’s Anping District. A powerful typhoon almost 200 years ago closed the mouth of the lagoon and sediment washing down from the mountains over the decades that followed filled most of it in. The marshy flats that appeared are rich in shellfish which in turn attract birds. There are also mangrove swamps rich in crabs, mudskippers, and other creatures.


Close to 200 avian species have been recorded in the park, the ocean section of which stretches all the way to Penghu County. Ornithologists regard it as a world-class winter birding spot. The mammals found here tend to be small, but a good guide can show you some intriguing bat and shrew species.

The park includes the Zengwen Estuary Wetland and Sicao Wetland, the only wetlands which Taiwan’s government classifies as being of ‘international importance’. The Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Area protects the habitat of the region’s best-known bird species. The number of Black-faced spoonbills in East Asia has rebounded from fewer than 1,000 in the 1990s to around 6,600 in recent years, thanks in large part to the efforts of government units, NGOs, and individuals in southern Taiwan.

Like many of East Asia’s waterbirds, the species breeds in and around North Korea but spends winters in warmer places such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the southwestern coastline of Taiwan. Within the conservation area, located just north of the mouth of the Zengwen River, there’s an ecological exhibition hall where visitors can learn about the spoonbill before heading to the birding hides that make birdwatching on a windy winter’s day both comfortable and relatively easy. Other notable avian visitors are Brown shrikes, Caspian terns, Common greenshanks, Kentish plovers, Lesser and Greater sand-plovers, and Pied avocets.

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