Yushan National Park is located in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. With the Yushan Main Peak being the center of the park, the park covers an area of vast expanse. It crosses over four counties of Nantou, Chiayi, Kaohsiung and Hualien, with an area of 105,490 hectares or 114 square kilometersWithin the park, there are spectacular sights of mountains. The park boasts more than 30 mountains with peaks over 3,000 meters. They include Yushan Peaks, Xiuguluan Mountain, Mabolasi Mountain, Dafenjian Mountain, Xinkang Mountain, Guan Mountain…etc. Two-thirds of the area within the park is above 2,000 meters in elevation. Due to the powerful forces of the plate tectonics, the ways these mountains are formed are extremely dramatic, magnificent and unique. The main peak of Yushan is the tallest in East Asia at 3952 meters.
Several of Taiwan’s largest rivers are sourced within the park, including Xiuguluan River, Zhuoshui River, and Kaoping River…etc. As an important watershed for the river systems in central, southern and eastern Taiwan, many people would be surprised to find how their existence and livelihood is so closely tied to the fragile balance of the ecological environment within Yushan National Park.
The elevation difference within Yushan National Park grounds is vast, from 300 meters to close to 4,000 meters.. Due to its vast altitudinal range, the climate is vastly varied. Which, in turn, makes the park extremely rich in biodiversity. The park area accounts for 3% of the total land area of Taiwan, yet, within the park boundaries, there are more than half of the plant species native to Taiwan.
There are approximately 50 species of mammals that inhabit the park. Among them, Formosan serows, Formosan sambar deer, Formosan black bears, Formosan wild boars, Formosan muntjacs and Formosan Macaques are the most precious large-sized animals. According to survey, 151 species of birds have been found within the park. Which means almost all of the resident birds throughout the forests of Taiwan can be found here. Among them, the Mikado pheasant, Swinhoe’s pheasant, Formosan barwing, Steere’s Liocichla and Taiwan Yuhina are species endemic to Taiwan. The park has 228 species of butterfly, which makes up half of all the butterfly species in Taiwan. There are 18 species of reptiles including endemic species such as the Taiwan pit viper, Sauter’s ground snake and Tree lizards. There are 13 species of amphibians, among which the Formosan Salamander and Sonani’s s Salamander are remnants fauna of the Ice Age that are of high value for academic research and conservation.
In terms of cultural and historical heritage, there are the Qing Dynasty Batongguan Historic Trail, the Japanese Occupation Era Batongguan Crossing and the Guanshan Crossing near the southern Cross-Island Highway. The park area was once inhabited by the Bunun aboriginal tribe. Prehistoric stone tools and pottery had been found in several sites within and around the park.
The precious natural beauty and important historic heritage of Yushan National Park makes it of great importance in eco-tourism, academic research, environmental education and conservation. With many of the highways connecting the park finally completed, we hope that more people can come to Yushan National Park and experience for themselves, the natural beauties of the park. This is a place where everyone can get in touch and rekindle that special relationship with mother natural. May we treasure and protect this paradise for generations to come.