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Taiwan's Wetlands of Importance

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Zengwun Estuary Wetland


The wetland is situated at the mouth of the Zengwun River. It extends north to the Koxinga Lighthouse (Cigu Lighthouse), the Nanti Levee and Cigu Levee; east to Provincial Highway 17 Koxinga Bridge; south to Chinchaolun Levee on the south bank of the Zengwun River; and west to the six-meter isobaths off the west coast.


The Zengwun River originates from the Ali-Shan Mountain Range at an elevation of 2,609 meters and urns 138 km in length. Its main branches include the Hojae, Tsailaio, and Guantien Rivers. The river basin covers an area of 1,176 square km. The estuary, located in southwestern Taiwan, is a bio-diversified habitat due to the ample sustenance it receives from the upper reaches of the river. Additionally, it attracts hundreds of Black-faced Spoonbills from Korea that winter there each year. In 1989, the wetland was designated by the Tainan County Government as the Cigu Industrial Zone, but fortunately, the plan was abandoned. It took nearly 12 years for local NGOs to successfully establish the Estuary, but now the wetlands include the Black-faced Spoonbill Refuge on the north bank of the Zengwun River's mouth in Tainan City and a Major Wildlife Habitat that was proclaimed by the Council of Agriculture.




Ecological resources of importance:

According to the documents, Black-faced Spoonbills were first discovered in Taiwan in 1863, and listed as an endangered species in the middle of the twentieth century. In 1989, the species population was fewer than 300 worldwide. But by the winter of 2007, the bird's population had increased to around 2000. And half of them come here to winter which making Cigu internationally famous. The area was part of the Taijiang Inner Sea. Here the area's good water quality encouraged fishermen to build floating sheds for oysters farming. Aquaculture and coastal net fishing (eel fries) was also prosperous. The mudflat, situated at the south of the wildlife refuge, has a large population of benthic creatures and plankton, which has served as a migratory mid-point for plovers, sandpipers and snipes passing through this area in the spring-summer season each year, additionally attracting many other kinds of wintering migratory birds as well. A field investigation conducted by Wetlands Taiwan in 2004 found six families and 22 species of crabs. Among them, Taiwan Fiddler Crabs were one of the largest populations. At the moment, because fiddler crabs have sharply declined in both the Siangshan Wetland in Hsinchu and the Henggun Wetland in Cheng-Wua, they are clearly the important focus in the conservation of this wetland. At one point the wetland recorded around 200 types of shellfish. In 1999, Ueng and Wang caught a shellfish-- Pseudogaleomma japonica, marking a new record in Taiwan (Journal of the National Taiwan Museum, 52, 1). Each winter, fishermen catch baby fish and many kinds of rare shellfish, including Nassarius teretiusculus and Olivella spretoids by net fishing. The wind-break forest at Dingtou-eshan is a breeding site for egrets. Inside the forest, there are few Lumnitzera racemos. There are several mangroves growing in the eastern habitats such as Avicennia marina, Lumnitzera racemosa, Rhizophora stylosa, Myoporum bontioides, and Caesalpinia bonduc.


Zengwun Estuary Wetland

Coastal natural wetlands and small portion of artificial wetlands

3,001 ha

Administrative area:
Cigu District and Annan District, Tainan City 120o03'57"E, 23o04'06"N

Legal position:
Wildlife Refuge, Major Wildlife Habitats, National Scenic Area, National Park

Management Authority/Agent:
Taijiang National Park Headquarters, Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration Office, Tainan City Government