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NP QUARTERLY

December 2008

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SPECIAL REPORT

A Perfect Gap - Documentary on Protection over Alangyi Ancient Trail

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The extending coastline can be taken in at a glance from the high point of Guanyi Nose. The only gap of the coastline highway has the most unique natural scenery.
A natural and enriched secret garden
Located in between two major sea plates and close to the tropical area, Alangyi Ancient Trail is often caught in strong earthquakes and monsoons are prevalent. It is warm in winter and hot in summer. Strong winds and rain greatly impact the terrains and ecological system.
 
The long east coast is often heard of continuous wave sounds. On the beach are often oval or round smooth stones. These stones developed into the so-called “nantian rock” and “watermelon rock” under constant wash and sediment. The northeast monsoon and waves contribute sand hills, dikes or sand. Around Mudan Bi, the harder ground enables formation of various sea erosion terrains when the softer rock on the top gradually disappears due to sea erosion. All are natural surprises.
 
Continuing gravel trail is the vertical Guanying Bi High Point. The tops of Mudan Bi and Guangying Bi are covered by short and twisted-trunk hard-leaf forests and hard-leaf bushes. From Syuhai Fishing Port to Mudan Bi, the complex terrains and human factor bring even more diversified vegetation covers. There are the artificial vegetables garden, coconut orchard, wind break forest, and sporadic primitive coastal forests. “Secondary forest” originates from the undermined primitive coastal forest. Besides common pioneer species, there are the out-coming dominant species interfering and invading the primitive ecology. The plants along the coastal line from Mudan Bi to Guangying are short woody, bushy, herbal, and ivy plants.
The Ancient Trail is located in a warm, humid, and species and food-laden quasi-tropical rain forest environment with abundant reptiles and amphibians. More common ones include Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, Buergeria japonica, and Papilionidae, etc. Uncommon ones include Vipera russellii formosensis that often carries venom and should be paid more attention to. Callosciurus erythraeus is the more common mammals. Nocturnal Viverricula indica pallida, Melogale moschata subaurantiaca, and Paguma larvata taivana, are not easily spotted. Because it is not on the travel route for migrating birds, only the winter migrant Lanius cristatus and the summer visitor Cuculus saturatus can be spotted. More valuable aquatic creatures include Eriocheir formosa Chan Hung et Yu, Macrobranchium lar (Fabricius), Anguilla marmorata Quoy et Gaimard, glass eel(primarily Anguilla Japonica babies), and baby milk fish but all are at brink of extinction due to over fishing.
 
Without crabs like those in Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies, Alangyi Ancient Trail has the more valuable, rarer, and the only crustaceans protected by las, Birgus latro Linnaeus, and Megacrania alpheus (Megacrania tsud) that is also protected by law. Type and quantity of living things along the coastal line near the Ancient Trail vary with the intensity of northeast monsoon and Kuroshio. More steady ones include sand crabs and hermit crabs that can be found on sand hills, sands, and beaches. Chelonia mydas and whales and dolphins were spotted before. Other various tide pool species are easily spotted in the water, too.
Steep slopes with a gradient of nearly 100m. An almost vertical slope. One should not climb the slope recklessly without appropriate gears. A gentler decent that still requires caution to advance.
  • upper: The extending coastline can be taken in at a glance from the high point of Guanyi Nose. The only gap of the coastline highway has the most unique natural scenery./ by Guang-jhih Hong
  • lower left: Steep slopes with a gradient of nearly 100m./ by Guang-jhih Hong
  • lower center: An almost vertical slope. One should not climb the slope recklessly without appropriate gears./ by Guang-jhih Hong
  • lower right: A gentler decent that still requires caution to advance./ by Guang-jhih Hong
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