Ecological Featured Scenic Spots
Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area covers a vast area of five counties and cities in Taiwan, thus the area features diversified geological landscapes and animal and plant natural ecological resources, which is extremely suitable for people to escape from the cities for a visit. Taking geological landscapes for instance, Lion's Head Mountain Scenic Area is located mainly in the buffer zone area where hills become mountains, and the terrain can be divided into fluvial terrace, highland and mountain land. The geology is mainly composed of alternating layers of sandstone and shale, which easily forms into bluffs. Lishan Scenic Area belongs to Dajia River drainage basin featuring diversified river terrains, with magnificent cliffs and bizarre rocks along the coast, offering abundant river bank landscapes.
Entering the vegetation of Lion’s Head Mountain, one can see the evergreen camphor trees and the Wood Oil Tree that originated from Guangdong and Guangxi of China. Therefore, snow-white blossoms can be seen all over the mountains in April and May of every year, where the branches appear to be covered in snow when observed from afar, hence the graceful name of “Summer Snow”. Moreover, shell ginger, which is commonly known as nutmeg, also flourishes into cream-colored blossoms to welcome visitors during May to July of each year. Several types of vine plants can also be seen in the mountains. Crested serpent eagle is a specific subspecies of bird in Taiwan. They inhabit in broad leaf forests at medium to low altitude. Their foods are most often small animals, and they especially prefer capturing snakes. Hence, they are also known as “Snake Eagle”. Besides bird of prey, Taiwan blue magpie with long black and white tail, sapphire colored feathers, black head and chest as well as red beak and feet can also be seen in the mountains. It is also known as “long-tailed mountain lady”. The one that seem to be able to communicate with Taiwan blue magpie is the “Common Chinese Treetoad”. Common Chinese Treetoad has a bulging vocal sac larger than the head to provide extremely loud croaks, therefore it is also known as the rain monster or rain frog. Their most conspicuous external feature is the dark stripe going from the rostral of head through the eyes, to the tympanic membrane and then the top of the shoulders, as if wearing a dark brown blinder. Follow the Central Cross-Island Highway all the way to Lishan entrance, one can see Taiwan Red Pine along most of the way. Taiwan Red Pine is enriched in pine gum, a vital raw material for making turpentine and rosin. Moreover, on the mountain walls of the Central Cross-Island Highway at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, a layer of white snow known as bridal wreath spirea is often mistaken for real snow fall. It is commonly known as pearl flower of snow flower.
As for animals, one would have the opportunity to see Taiwan’s conservation endemic species – “White-eared Sibia”. They have a long white eyeliner with the modern style of a few tassels. They make a loud and rising end sound of “huei…huei…huei…huei…”that is the most unforgettable music amongst the forests. Moreover, Formosan landlocked salmon, familiar amongst Taiwanese people, is also undergoing artificial restoration and wild-release in this area, therefore if visitors have the opportunity to see them, please do treat these hard-to-come-by world-grade guests nicely!