Wild animals you have seen in Taiwan

I was looking at Muzha Man’s pics of the pangolin he saw in Taidong, pretty cool. It got me thinking what wild animals I have seen in Taiwan over the years.

One of the most impressive sights I have seen was the circling of hundreds of eagles in Hsinchu on their annual migration between Phillipines, Taiwan and China. Another cool sight was seeing hundreds of wild butterflies gathered together (at least a dozen species) in a side valley of Taroko gorge. Other great natual sights I have seen are firefly displays in the Neiwan and Hsinchu area and flying squirrels in the Chiayi area. I have also seen the Taiwan magpie and some impressive kingfishers a few times.

I have seen Taiwan black bears but only in captivity in a government forest reserve (the same one as the National Geographic program). Personally I would love to see one in the wild.

Amazingly my friend who was only here for a week saw a leopard cat on the road in Taroko.

Taiwan’s biological resources are still not fully researched. For instance I noticed many years ago butterflies flying in from the ocean at Fulong beach. It was only a couple of years ago they were proven to be coming in from Japan, something most scientists didn’t believe previously.

So anybody else have any interesting stories or pics?

I haven’t been to Taiwan yet but I was lucky enough to see several bears in the wild in Alaska. I saw a black bear and 3 cubs, a grizzly bear, and a polar bear, not all at once of course! Once when I was camping (thankfully not alone!) there were bears outside our camp at night, you could hear them rustling around and snorting and stuff, and occasionally see their eyes, but we kept the fire going strong all night and they never bothered us. I saw all kinds of other animals there and really developed a love for seeing wildlife.

I hope to see lots of wildlife while I’m there. I understand my chances of seeing a Formosan black bear are practically nil though. I didn’t know about the leopard cats. Very cool.

crab eating mongoose
various snakes and lizards
wild boar
flying squirrel
wild cattle
monkeys

Unidentified humanoid like beast

:thumbsup:

I met a bear researcher and his team of grad students in Yushan National Park. He said that he had spent 25 years studying the Formosan black bear and spending time in their habitat and he had never seen one.

That same day I saw the pangolin I saw a troop of monkeys crossing a landslide and a butterfly valley that was humming with hundreds of specimins from 15 species and this in early january.

The day before I saw wild sika deer in Kenting and taiwan pheasants on the 199.

I saw a juvenile black bear in Shei-Pa about 5 years ago. Seen sambar deer, lots of barking deer, wild boar. Civets, martins, squrrels. Never seen a flying squirrel though. Must get a nightlight.

Birds, mikado pheasant, swinhoes, mullers barbet, blue magpie and a dozen or so other endemic species.

Butterflies: about a 100 species. Last summer saw half a million in an acre of land in the Yellow Butterfly Valley. That is something everyone should see. Also seen swarms of purple butterflies in the forests of Maolin. Still trying to find the really good remote purple butterfly valleys around dawu and wanluan where they hang like garlands in the trees. This is the only other mass overwintering of butterflies in the entire world: the other being the monarch migration and overwintering in Mexico.

Snakes: cobras, turtle, russels, bamboo, beauty, banded krait.

I hate to burst your bubble but you didn’t see butterflies flying from Japan. In the past ten years there have only been about a dozen butterflies found going the other way. It is not a natural function but a freak accident. Likely they are riding or caught on the winds that blow from the south every spring. There may be a few that have made it the other way, but again it would be so rare.

[quote=“Feiren”][quote=“headhonchoII”]

I have seen Taiwan black bears but only in captivity in a government forest reserve (the same one as the National Geographic program). Personally I would love to see one in the wild.

Amazingly my friend who was only here for a week saw a leopard cat on the road in Taroko.

[/quote]

I met a bear researcher and his team of grad students in Yushan National Park. He said that he had spent 25 years studying the Formosan black bear and spending time in their habitat and he had never seen one.[/quote]

Ouch!

I’m trying to do a Yushan hike with Barking Deer Adventures but I haven’t heard back about the lottery yet.

Mucha Man, that’s quite a list. I know what to look out for! I understand the banded krait is extremely poisonous. Personally I’m more afraid of snakes than bears!
Are there any butterfly valleys that are ‘in-season’ during March 10 to April 7?

Turtles

Crayfish

And dead puffer fish :smiley:

And a huge spider in a net I didn’t get a picture off :frowning:

Mr Lumberjack,
What’s a “turtle snake”? Please don’t spread the use of these Chinglish names - it would be like calling a panda a “cat-bear.” And i don’t want any excuse about being drunk when you posted it. :slight_smile:
cobras : the plural form here is confusing, as there is only one cobra species in Taiwan, the “Chinese cobra.”
turtle: “pointed-scaled pit viper” is a bit more descriptive not to mention dignified, but you can also go with the easier “Taiwan habu”
russels: Russell’s viper
bamboo: this direct translation from the ol’ Chinee is misleading; better to go with “Chinese green tree viper.”
beauty: Unfortunately, this hideous name “Taiwan beauty snake” is the commonly used one but I prefer “Taiwanese rat snake”
banded krait: This is okay, but technically should be “many-banded krait”

I’ve only been here for a year and a half so the only wild animals I have seen are stray dogs and cats, as well as kamikaze pilots on scooters.

Was it lurking round the back of a turkey rice stall in Chiayi?

[quote=“drifter”][quote=“Feiren”][quote=“headhonchoII”]
Are there any butterfly valleys that are ‘in-season’ during March 10 to April 7?[/quote][/quote][/quote]

That’s when the purples begin their migration back to the north. If it’s a good year you could see thousands a minute flying over certain ridges. The best place to see them is the elementary school in Linnei. Baguashan in Changhua is also good and taichung metropolitan park. Also the highway will have speed restrictions over a couple km where the butterflies cross.

Tatajia, the saddle where you will begin the hike to Yushan is also a special spot. Butterflies are carried up from the valley below and blown over the saddle as if it were a funnel. researchers aren’t sure exactly where they are coming from nor where they are going. May is best for that when hundreds a minute will whip overhead, but you should see some.

Mr Lumberjack,
What’s a “turtle snake”? Please don’t spread the use of these Chinglish names - it would be like calling a panda a “cat-bear.” And I don’t want any excuse about being drunk when you posted it. :slight_smile:
cobras : the plural form here is confusing, as there is only one cobra species in Taiwan, the “Chinese cobra.”
turtle: “pointed-scaled pit viper” is a bit more descriptive not to mention dignified, but you can also go with the easier “Taiwan habu”
russels: Russell’s viper
bamboo: this direct translation from the ol’ Chinee is misleading; better to go with “Chinese green tree viper.”
beauty: Unfortunately, this hideous name “Taiwan beauty snake” is the commonly used one but I prefer “Taiwanese rat snake”
banded krait: This is okay, but technically should be “many-banded krait”[/quote]

Got as cold and on the road using a net book computer with a small keyboard.

GIVE ME A BREAK! :laughing:

So I searched and found an article on the internet…guess which one popped up first, mucha mans. Good article btw.
Anyway I don’t know anything much about this but all I can say was I was on Fulong beach one time and a butterflies were flying in from the ocean, one by one. I’ve never seen that anywhere else. Of course it’s well known butterflies can do this over the Gulf of Mexico.
There’s probably a subset of butterflies that are migrating to and forth from Japan, they might be selected for due to cyclical climate conditions…i.e. if it got too hot or too cold in Taiwan in one year or over given years this migrant group can still survive. If you don’t study the genetics there’s no way to know.

Stray dogs and cats, domestic dogs, a Five-color bird (五色鳥), numerous red-collared doves, black-faced spoonbills, and several house geckos. Of course I don’t get out into nature very often, which limits my opportunities.

Thanks Mucha Man, got the butterfly locales penned in my notebook.

[quote=“Buttercup”][quote=“fenlander”]
Unidentified humanoid like beast
[/quote]

Was it lurking round the back of a turkey rice stall in Chiayi?[/quote]
No that one has been identified as … from forumosa.com

lol

This one was extremely anti social and lacking basic communication skills, so could not have been a forumosan.

[quote=“Mucha Man”]That same day I saw the pangolin I saw a troop of monkeys crossing a landslide and a butterfly valley that was humming with hundreds of specimins from 15 species and this in early january.
s. Never seen a flying squirrel though. Must get a nightlight.

.[/quote]

Ilan, the hill tribes were hunting them my wife is from one of the indigenous hill tribes. It is now illegal but they are still allowed to hunt in certain locations (perhaps out of date). There are lots of flying squirrel’s around. Yah get a very high powered spot light you will see more animals than you expect or night vision equipment (expensive although perhaps Tainan cowboy can get you some discounted goggles) The local Tai Ya don’t need either to hunt them though as they have other ways. Hunting skills can come in handy if wishing to look for wild life. Not nice they do that I know but yeah that is what I have seen. I saw one being prepared for cooking just a few weeks ago. That one was already dead but very fresh. Really weird looking animals in fact pretty cool looking.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]So I searched and found an article on the internet…guess which one popped up first, Muzha mans. Good article btw.
Anyway I don’t know anything much about this but all I can say was I was on Fulong beach one time and a butterflies were flying in from the ocean, one by one. I’ve never seen that anywhere else. Of course it’s well known butterflies can do this over the Gulf of Mexico.
There’s probably a subset of butterflies that are migrating to and forth from Japan, they might be selected for due to cyclical climate conditions…i.e. if it got too hot or too cold in Taiwan in one year or over given years this migrant group can still survive. If you don’t study the genetics there’s no way to know.[/quote]

Do you know what kind they were (general description) and the time of year? If spring or summer it would be impossible as the winds wouldn’t allow for a southward journey of 1200km over open ocean.

My guess would be it was some group dispering and got caught in a wind that took them out to sea. If it really was a japan-Taiwan migration you are one lucky man to have seen it. :thumbsup:

The simplest explanation could be correct i.e. that they were making their way back after being blown off course. However since the butterflies seemed to be making a beeline directly back to perpendicularly back to land they kind of looked purposeful,liked they had a route they were following.
The researcher in the article seems too critical of the theory whereas he doesn’t have enough data nor has he done any genetic studies of the butterflies in Japan vis a vis Taiwan…to show if they are divergent populations or not.
The final hole in the statement is that there is not 1200 miles of open ocean between Japan and Taiwan. I have flown between Okinawa and Japan and at the time I looked out the windows and remember being amazed at the number of little islands stretching all the way up to Okinawa (and I guess beyond to Japanese mainland). So the solution would be to send some researchers onto these little islands during the standard migration season of the butterflies.

I agree, MM’s pangolin was awesome. The most exotic wild animals I’ve seen here, I guess, are a dead civet cat on the road up to FengKweiKou, a really bright green dead snake about the same location and a yellow snake maybe 6 feet long when hiking near Hsinchu. The last one was really cool and I was sorry it made for the brush so fast I couldn’t photograph it.

Hardly exotic, but we saw a lot of these when hiking today and I thought they were pretty cool, with their brilliant blue, irridescent tails (brighter irl than here).