According to the preliminary results of the 2018 resource surveys, Shei-Pa National Park Headquarters found several records of bats near Taoshan Waterfall in the Wuling area. Several images of yellow-throated marten, a protected species, were also captured near Xinda and Taoshan Cabins, major recreation stops along Sixiu Trail.
Since its establishment in 1992, the Headquarters has been dedicated to tasks such as conservation research, biodiversity protection and environment education related to alpine animals. Especially in the recent 10 years, with a re-survey conducted on resources along Xueshan Trail, Wuling Recreation Area, and Dabajianshan Trail, as well as an update on the list of species, the research team from Tunghai University was invited again this year to conduct surveys on animals along the Sixiu hiking trail in the Wuling area located within the Cijiawan River Wetland Reserve. The team has set up digital infrared auto-cams to gather invaluable images of wild animals.
According to the preliminary results of this year’s survey on resources, 31 species of wild mammals were recorded from March to June, including 13 species of bats (the order Chiroptera), which account for one-third of Taiwan’s bat species. Species recorded included Asian barbastelle, mountain pipistrelle, Horikawa's brown bat, fraternal myotis, Chinese water myotis, Taiwan tube-nosed bat, etc. Most of records were found in the humid area around Taoshan Waterfall. Downstream of the Waterfall is Cijiawan River, which is the habitat of Formosan landlocked salmon. The Headquarters urges visitors to join the effort to protect the habitats of these bats and salmon when visiting Taoshan Waterfall to enjoy the scenery.
In addition to the records of bats, we were thrilled to find several images of the yellow-throated marten, a protected species, captured near Xinda and Taoshan Cabins along the Sixiu Trail of the Wuling area. It caused such excitement because in the past only one photo of yellow-throated marten a year was recorded in Xueshan and Dabajianshan within Shei-Pa National Park. The yellow-throated marten belongs to Level-2 (rare and valuable) protected animals, whose fur on its chest looks like a golden scarf. With a long and dark tail, yellow-throated martens are mainly distributed in mountainous areas over 2000 m. Predominantly carnivorous, it was said that yellow-throated martens would join in a pack to catch Formosan Reeve's muntjacs, making them also known as "tigers for muntjacs". The population of yellow-throated martens seems to have increased in recent years. The research team will continue its monitoring to determine if the Sixiu area of Wuling in Xueshan Range is an important habitat for these martens. In addition, masked palm civets were recorded several times around Xinda Cabin; in some photos they were suspected to be with their young. Judging from the records surveyed by the team in Xueshan and Dabajianshan in the past and in Wuling Sixiu this time, these civets can run about in alpine areas over 3000 m, contrary to the belief that they are commonly distributed in low- and mid-altitudinal hills.
The two-year research and survey project will continue, and the results of the surveys for various areas will be consolidated in the future to present the status of the complete rich animal resources in the alpine ecosystem of Shei-Pa National Park.