Why Kaohsiung people want to create a sanctuary for butterflies?

“Purple Butterfly Valley” Maolin is one of the world’s only two valleys where butterflies overwinter. (Courtesy of Maolin National Scenic Area Administration)
The “Purple Butterfly Valley” in Maolin is one of the world’s only two valleys where butterflies spend their winter. (Courtesy of Maolin National Scenic Area Administration)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Liouguei District (六龜) in Kaohsiung has asked the central government to set up a protected area for the purple butterfly, according to various sources.

Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) went to visit the butterfly habitat in Zhongxing Village, Liouguei District on Nov. 12 at the invitation of Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩).

He later promised to establish the area as a “Major Wildlife Habitat” and impose proper regulations that will protect the butterflies’ habitat.

Liouguei District is located near the famous “Purple Butterfly Valley” in the mountainous district of Maolin (茂林), Kaohsiung.

“Purple Butterfly Valley” is a sanctuary where butterflies breed during the winter. (Courtesy of Maolin National Scenic Area Administration)

Like its famous counterpart, the “Monarch Butterfly Valley” in the U.S., Taiwan’s butterfly valley, is a sanctuary where butterflies breed during the winter, according to the website of Maolin Purple Butterfly Valley’s Biannual Butterfly Beauty Festival.

Liouguei is a unique area where purple butterflies spend their winter in Taiwan, but their number has been dwindling in recent years due to the destruction of the local habitat.

Thanks to the support of the Forestry Bureau, Liouguei has started to restore the habitat of the butterflies and improve the protection of the endangered insect over the past three years.

Although the number of butterflies hasn’t reached previous numbers yet, a moderate amount of butterflies have already come back.