Taiwan bear

Has anyone information on the locality of the Taiwan bear. I think it’s down in the PingTung region and there are only a few hundred or so left. Has anyone seen it or know somebody who has.
If you could tell me the exact locality that would be great.

I am fairly sure the clouded leopard is extinct locally. What about the Formosan Sika deer? OR the Formosan goat/sheep. Where is the best place to catch the Formosan monkey ( I hear there are some knocking around YangMingShan somewhere but haven’t found them yet).

Plus if anyone knows of English language books on the plants and animals of Taiwan please forward me. I have a great book but it was written about 15 years ago.

I’m so embarassed. I thought this was about Taiwan beer. Taiwan bears are outside my expertise. I live in Taipei, not sure about the rest of 'em.

I’ve been looking for years for good English-language books, especially on local snakes, reptiles and bugs (you tend to see more of these than mammals) but have been unsuccessful. I have a pretty good bird ID book but its in Chinese.

I bet Cranky knows, though – he knows EVERYTHING about books here – how about it Mr. S? Any leads?

As for bears, you have to go central/south and really get lost in the wilds if you want to see them, but there are a few around.

Sika deer are raised here, but I don’t know about in the wild. I think I saw some serow at Tapachienshan one time and you can usually see monkeys in the forests around Wulai if you hike far enough. They’re pretty common. Barking deer too, if you’re out and about in the early morning, as well as gem-faced civets at night sometimes.

Grizzly, you, if anyone, should know where to find the damn bears!

I’d guess the poor things are hobbling about without any paws.

Originally posted by sandman:

quote[quote]How about it Mr. S? Any leads?[/quote]

I don’t have much in the way of animal books. (The missus keeps insisting that buying food and paying the rent matter more than acquiring many more books and CDs. But I digress…)

Sinorama put out Taiwan’s Extraordinary Plants and Animals, which is quite good; but this may be the older book haobana was referring to. I can’t tell for sure when this came out, because I can’t read all of the characters. The initial edition, though, seems to have come out in August 1988. My printing is from March 1998.

Nobody’s seen a clouded leopard in nearly 30 years, though there are still rumors enough to keep alive a slim hope that they might not be extinct.

For sika deer, go to Kenting (Kending). They’ve been reintroduced into the wild, after coming very close to extinction. There’s also a video on the Web page.

Monkeys? There’s a temple in the mountains around Neihu I went to that had lots of monkeys. The cuteness factor can wear off quickly, cuz the little buggers can be pesky.

And, oh yes, bears.


what about pangolins?

my parents brought a GIO published booklet from the UK on the fauna of Taiwan and it had pangolins, scaly ant eater creatures.

are they endemic or escaped pets or just the whimsy of GIO editors?

There is a nature book shop in a lane beside the Chungshan Middle School MRT. Apart from various flora and fauna books from around the world they have English language books on Taiwan hikes, birds, insects, reptiles etc.

3q, can you be a bit more specific. I’ll be all over that shop like a rash if you can tell me a bit more – east or west side of Fuxing? North or south of the station? Can you remember a number?

Cranky, thanks for the links.

Salmon, pangolins do exist but also very rare, as they’re hunted for use in Chinese medicine. Probably the only ones you’ll see here now are badly stuffed examples in traditional medicine shop windows. Oh, they also used to have one on display at the airport.

I found part of the skin and skeleton of one on Chilaishan a few years back, but it began to stink so bad I had to get rid of it.

Exit the station - turn left, walk to the end of the block that the station is on. Look and walk left and you walk right into it. No Eng name and I have no name card. I have a guide to Taiwan birds in English and some hiking trail books with broken English - have turned out ot be some good riding on these trails too. I bought the only copy of a book on Taiwan butterflies and another on reptiles and insects. I assumed they restocked. The English isnt great but it is good enough.

Thanks for the info. I’ll try to find it tonight.


Oddly enough, on eof the tourist centres at a military park on Jinmen has awesome bird books in Eng.

Damn it Sandman if you get the last books…

Thanks for the info everybody, there’s a real dearth of wildlife information in English. Taiwan still has a lot of very interesting endemic species cos of it’s isolation.
Last weekend I was on the Taoyuan/Hsinchu border. There I ate river fish and crabs(still recovering, not recommended), saw many different herons and local small birds. Saw eagles and hawks hunting the local swifts. At night the whole place lit up with 1000s of fireflies. Then the local aborigines asked did I want to go shooting flying squirrels but I declined at it seemed they were a little drunk to aim correctly. Nearby an ancient stand of 2000 yr old trees has recently been ‘discovered’. It’s out there if you look for it. The mountains and gorge were better than any ‘shanshui’ picture I’ve seen. The forests were really primeval looking. The water was really low but enough to swim in still. I don’t know the name of the place but some of you can guess where it is.


I am all for a nature trip if others are. It has been easy finding locals who ‘like’ nature but I dont like the convoy style mentality and ‘twitcher’ vibe they all seem to have… and the telephotos lens thing…

I miss the bird watching of home and am craving for it…

I’d might be on for a trip or two too.

I’m trying to find out if there is anyway I can get close to the Taiwan bear in the wild (not TOO close), I think I’d need to go with an academic group to do that. I worked with one guy before who, when he was in college got close enough to hear it although he never actually saw it. I think the trip would be cool anyway. Preiously I’ve been to PengHu which was cool but prefer the mountains or tropical islands myself.

The other thing I want to do is go to Orchid Island sometime (or maybe Green Island). We could drop by the nuclear storage centre when we were there and stage the first ‘foreigner solidarity’ protest! We’d be famous.

Apparently the bears were quite aggressive just before and after the 921 quake - attacking aboriginal people in the mountains. I have heard they are pretty knarky little critters and would recommend any trips to try and locate some would be best done with an experienced guide.

Bird watching up in Wulai is pretty sweet… Jinmen is MAGIC!

Haobana, was the place called Shi-ma-ku-se, (sorry that’s a rough phonetic transcription, no idea how to really spell it)?

The Fushan Long-Term Ecological Research Project has a good web site for anyone interested in the flora and fauna of the La La Shan/ Fushan area.

Fushan Web

For information on bears in pdf format try this:iucn.org

I honestly don’t know the name of the place, it’s outside the LaLa shan area but the newly discovered tree stand has been in the news a lot recently.

I’d never think of going to look for bear of my own, what do I do, bring some honey with me??

I can see why they are so pissed off. They probably attacked some local aborigines or hunters who were trying to hack their paws off for chinese medicine. I hear there are a lot of one handed bears out there…