Thursday, January 15, 2009

450-plus reasons to go birding in Taiwan

Taiwan's geographical diversity, together with its position on the East Asia and West Pacific flyways, gives the island a fantastic concentration of bird species. More than 450 avian species (some say more than 480) use Taiwan as a temporary or permanent home.

The International Ornithological Congress updated the world bird list in February 2008, crediting Taiwan with having 23 endemic avian species, birds seen nowhere else on Earth. BirdLife International has designated 53 places as important bird areas that cover more than 18 percent of Taiwan's total land area. The IBAs vary in size from the 36-hectare Cat Islet Seabird Refuge in Penghu County to Nengdan, a 134,000-hectare swath of central Taiwan's mountains.

For excellent photos of Taiwan's birds, take a look at this flickr photostream.

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