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Taiwan's Wetlands of Importance



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Sihcao Wetland

Boundaries:

The wetland is situated in the area where the Zengwun River, Luermen River, Yanshuei River and Chianan Big Ditch meet, southwest of Provincial Highway 17. The wetland is divided into three zones by the Tainan Technology Industrial Park. Zone A1 is a breeding site for Black-winged Stilt, Zone A2 is the Wader Refuge at Beishanwei, and Zone A3 is the Wader Refuge at Jhufa Harbor.

Introduction:

More than 300 years ago, the wetland area was located at the Beishanwei and Nanshanat southern extremity of the Taijiang Inner Sea. In 1823, the Zengwun River changed its course due to storms, which brought a great amount of sediment from the upper reaches of the river and silted up the inner sea into a reclaimed land. It also divided the inner sea into three areas, namely, Kunshen Lake (developed into Tainan New City Area, Anpin Commercial Harbor and Anpin Industrial Park), Sihcao Lake, and Cigu Lagoon. The boundary of Sihcao Wetlands, which was evaluated this time, including Sihcao Wildlife Refuge and Major Wildlife Habitats, was established by the Council of Agriculture on Nov., 30, 1994. A portion of the original salt fields in Zones A1 and A2 has been turned into natural salt-marsh wetlands. It can be classified as coastal nature wetland, artificial wetland, and non-operational salt fields. Tainan Salt Field Wetland was one of the four major salt fields in Taiwan during the period of salt production, along with Lanyang Estuary, Guandu Estuary, and Dadu Estuary. During the establishment of Tainan Technology Industrial Park, approximately 524 ha were saved by the authority as a wildlife refuge.

 

 

 

Ecological resources of importance:

Based on Asian Wetland's reporting from IUCN, Sihcao Wetland was recognized as international class, and was listed as one of twelve major wetlands in Taiwan. With more than 300 Black-faced Spoonbills coming here to winter and around one hundred pairs of Black-winged Stilts breeding here, Sihcao also meets the standards and guidelines of an important bird area (IBA). Original species of birds, predominantly of the Laridae, Charadriidae, Ardeidae and Anatidae families, can be seen in the wetland. There are also the rare Black-faced Spoonbill, Oriental White Stork, Spotted Greenshank, Peregrine Falcon, Grass Owl, and Pied Avocet. In the intersection of sea water and land, there are mangroves, including the Lumnitzera racemosa, Avicennia marina, and Rhizophora stylosa. In addition, the wetland contains Paspalum vaginatum, Sporobolus virginicus, and Paspalum vaginatum at the soil-levee area, as well as the rare orchid Eulophia graminea. Sihcao Wetland is one of the most complete and best preserved habitats for mangrove growth, with the highest biodiversity along Taiwan's coastline. Zone A2 is the retained original salt pan region (approx. 337 ha). Near Tainan Technology Industrial Park, there is 54 ha wildlife habitat with a water depth of 2 meters, which provides a good home for large fish and the wetland's abundant wildlife such as the Bluntnose Snake-eel. Recently, the area has received attention due to frequent activity of the internationally well-known Black-faced Spoonbills. The estuary provides food and habitats for Laridae, Ardeidae, and Stork species. The beaches in the upper reaches of undammed rivers, in southwestern Taiwan are extremely important for Black-faced Spoonbills, Saunders' Gull, and Chinese Crested Tern. For example, Puzih River, Jishuei and Yanshuei Estuary, located at the south of the wetland, and mangrove growing areas at other rivers have become new breeding sites for the young White Egret and Great White Egret in Taiwan. The dominant families of benthic animals include Stenothyridae, Thiaridae, Acteocinidae, Palaemonidae, Limapontiidae, Litiopidae, and the small crab Hymenosomatidae. Sihcao Wetland is also home to Mollusca, Lyonsia taiwanica (Lyonsiidae) and Fronsella taiwanica (Montacutidae), and Arthopoda, Gnaphosidae family and Hydrophilidae family, notable as collectors' specimens. The Black-winged Stilt Refuge at Sihcao Wetland is one of a few breeding refuges for coastal birds (Zone A1). Wetlands Taiwan has gradually adjusted its pace for planning and management to improve the quality of the refuge. By applying separate management techniques in each zone, Wetlands Taiwan is hoping to achieve the goal of provision of bio-diversified habitats and protection of wildlife. Furthermore, Wetlands Taiwan can provide for the public a superior place for ecological conservation, education, and research. Endangered species: Harvest Mouse, Black-faced Spoonbill, Oriental White Stork, Spotted Greenshank, Peregrine Falcon and Grass Owl.

Number:
TW002

Name:
Sihcao Wetland

Category:
Coastal natural wetlands and small portion of artificial wetlands

Area:
551 ha

Administrative area:
Cigu District and AnNan District, Tainan City 120o08'00"E, 23o01'39"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