TAIPEI (The China Post) – The Tengjhih National Forest Recreation Area in Kaohsiung is located between 1,500 and 1,800 meters above sea level. Covered by broad-leaved trees and coniferous forests, the area boasts rich wildlife.

Among the species living in the area, you can see mammals such as the Formosan black bear, Reeves’s muntjac, and macaque, rare birds such as Swinhoe’s pheasant, mountain hawk-eagle, and black eagle, and a wide variety of beautiful insects. All of which have contributed to Taiwan’s popular mid-altitude biodiversity.

 

In 1995, the Endemic Species Research Institute started to carry out long-term monitoring and investigating of insect resources in the area. Over the past 20 years, the research has recorded more than a thousand species, many of which are rare and endemic species in Taiwan.

Species such as the Atrophaneura horishana, Loepa formosensis, and the Atlas moth, to name just a few, attract domestic and foreign research enthusiasts visiting every year. The area is known as insects’ treasure house in Southern Taiwan.

As a well-known scenic spot for summer recreation, bird watching, and cherry blossom viewing, it is even dubbed as “the back garden of Kaohsiung.”

Unfortunately, in 2009, Typhoon Morakot hit the mountainous area, causing large-scale landslide and forest roads to collapse. Now, vehicles and tourists are forbidden to enter, an important decision which has left a great impact on local tribal tourism.