Endemic Species of Taiwan Resource Pack
Formosan Wild Boar TMMA0003
The Formosan Wild Boar is also known as the mountain boar. Hoglets exhibit a yellow-brown coat blended with black hair to form vertical stripes. Adult boars are covered with black bristles. Their upper canine teeth protrude outward and gradually curve upward. Their lower canines develop upward, forming fangs. However, the canine teeth are much more prominent in males. Other features include small eyes and a thin tail with a bristly tip.
The Formosan Wild Boar can survive in a variety of natural environments and elevations, from sea level to 3000 m above sea level. They are nocturnal animals and exhibit the habit of laying grass when they rest. They are omnivorous, feeding off a diet mainly of rhizomes. Adult males are largely solitary but seek out sounders during the breeding season.
Formosan Clouded LeopardTMMA0008
The Formosan Clouded Leopard is a subspecies of large carnivorous felines specific to Taiwan. Adults measure a body length of between 0.6 and 1.2 m and a tail length of between 0.7 and 0.9 m; weighing between 15 to 30 kg. They wear a beautiful greyish-yellow coat of clouded spots with round or irregular-shaped black spots near the feet and tail. Male leopards are slightly larger than females.
In the past, the Formosan Clouded Leopard resided in various forest areas across Taiwan. However, their numbers were few. They were largely seen in primitive dense jungles 1,000 m above sea level. They are nocturnal animals and excellent tree climbers. They are solitary and roam stealthily. All mammals within the active vicinity of the leopards are prey, including Reeve’s muntjacs, mountain goats, monkeys, and birds. Females are able to conceive once a year, between two and four cubs (largely two).
Four subspecies of clouded leopards can be found in Taiwan; they are Southern China, Southeast Asia and South-Central Asia. They prefer vast environments with much concealment as their habitat. However, the number of wild leopards decreased amidst excessive commercial deforestation. Currently, all four subspecies of clouded leopards are on the brink of extinction. The Formosan Clouded Leopard was declared extinct in 2013.
Formosan Rock MacaqueTMMA0272
The Formosan Rock Macaque is an endemic species of Taiwan. They are also known as the Black-Limbed Monkey, Rock Monkey or Taiwanese Macaque. They are the only primate native to Taiwan. They feature longer hind legs and a thick, strong tail. Their backs are deep olive in color and covered in a coat of soft fur, whereas they have a lighter belly with less fur covering. They also show significant red-brown spots between their thighs and dark limbs, hence their name Black-Limbed Monkey.
The Formosan Rock Macaque prefers dense leafy forests near water sources between sea-level and 3,300 m above sea level. They are diurnal and live in highly social organizations. They are omnivorous, feeding on berries, molluscs, and plants. Their breeding period is between October and February the following year. They give birth to one offspring with a gestation period of roughly 165 days.
The Formosan Hare is also known as the Mountain Rabbit. They feature small bodies covered in short fur, long hind legs, and narrow, cylindrical ears. They are excellent jumpers. The color of their fur is largely yellow-brown but may vary from hare to hare, sometimes accentuated by black fur or irregular black stripes. The color on their bellies is a lighter shade of grey-yellow or yellow-white.
The Formosan Hare can be seen in forest areas between sea-level and 2,000 m above sea level across Taiwan. They are nocturnal and most active on nights with bright moonlight. Their diets comprise grass, young leaves, and bamboo shoots. Their breeding period spans across spring, summer, and fall. They can give birth to two to five bunnies three to four times a year. Their gestation period is roughly 30 to 40 days.
The Formosan Pangolin is one of the eight pangolin species in the world. They are largely found in India, Nepal, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Huanan, and the South Sea Island. They have long, sharp snouts containing no teeth and an extremely long tongue. Besides the nose, abdomen, and inner limbs, the entire body of the Formosan Pangolin is covered in keratin scales. Their scales are imbricated in eight rows. They feature small eyes with black irises and a pink abdomen with loosely scattered thick black-brown bristles.
The Taiwan Pangolin can be found between sea-level and 2,000 m above sea level, particularly at a moderate elevation. They are timid and nocturnal, largely residing in caves 2.4 to 3.6 m deep. They are good climbers, using their worm-like tongues to salvage ants and insects. When threatened, they tuck their heads under their abdomens and curling into a ball. They have an acute sense of smell, but poor vision and hearing. They are hunted in Africa and Asia as food or local medicine. Therefore, they are among the species threatened with extinction. At present, hunting them for commercial purposes has been prohibited by law.
Formosan Fruit Bat TMMA0035
The Formosan Fruit Fox is an endemic bat species of Taiwan first sighted in 1872. They are one of the largest bats among similar species. They have protruding snouts, similar to that of a fox. Therefore, they also earned the name of the Flying Fox. Their wings are constructed by elastic membranes. They have hooked toes to grapple and hang from tree branches.
They are largely found on Green Island. They are nocturnal and mainly feed on fruit, chewing on the flesh to extract the juice and then discarding the pulp. Unlike other bat species that use ultrasound for positioning, the Formosan Fruit Fox relies on sight. Their breeding seasons is between May and July. They give birth to one offspring per breeding cycle.
Formosan Sika Deer TMMA0261/TMMA019
The Formosan Sika Deer is a subspecies of sika deer endemic to Taiwan. They are large with obvious white spots on their coat. Their summer coat is light brown with a black belt at the center of their backs. Roughly 20 white spots on either side of their bodies are aligned into a number of rows. The remaining spots are randomly distributed. Their spots are less evident during the winter. Males bear deciduous antlers.
The Formosan Sika Deer can be found on low-lying hills. They are abundant in numbers. However, their activity reduced drastically due to previous excessive hunting and deforestation. To replenish their numbers, conservationists implemented a restoration and release project in the Kenting National Park. Following several releases and periodic surveys, Kenting National Park now houses over 1,000 deer and their numbers are climbing. Now, they are beginning to affect the park’s environment, raising discussions on releasing them to the wild.
Chinese Tiger Cat TMMA0267
The Chinese Tiger Cat is also known as the Mountain Cat. They are slightly larger than the average house cat with a soft coat of grey-brown fur accentuated with red. They have a gray abdomen and white years with black spots. Two white lines extend upward from the inside of their eyes, and four or five brown black waves can be seen on either side of their white cheeks. Besides the head, they are covered in obvious spots. On the top side of the tail, spots interconnect to form 15 to 18 half-ringed bands. The bottom side of the tails is lighter in color with no spots.
The Chinese Tiger Cat can be found in various forests and bordering grasslands at an elevation from sea level to 1,500 m above sea level. They are nocturnal, solitary, excellent tree climbers, and easily aggravated. They feed on birds, frogs, snakes, and insects. They build dens of soft grass during the breeding period and give birth to two to four kittens.
Formosan Blind Mole TMMA0370
The Formosan Blind Mole is a subspecies of Talpidae endemic to Taiwan. They have long flat bodies covered with velvety soft fur. Their fur is gray black on their backs and slightly lighter on their sides. They have inconspicuous ears and eyes and an elongated snout with a tuft of whiskers on either side. They feature large front paws with claws on all five fingers for digging. They have a short tail with fur at the tip.
The Formosan Blind Mole is a subterranean animal distributed on the flatlands and low-lying regions of Taiwan. They feed on insects, especially worms and earthworms. They give birth to three to four pups.
Formosan Black Bear TMMA0263
The Formosan Black Bear is endemic to Taiwan. They are a subspecies of Asiatic black bears found in Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. The Formosan Black Bear is bulky, weighing roughly 200 kg, with thick, short legs and claws on all five toes. They wear a thick coat of long, black fur. They have large cheek teeth and feature an obvious white tuft of V-shaped fur on their chest.
The Formosan Black Bear resides in the primitive forest areas in Taiwan, between 1,000 and 3,300 m above sea level. They demonstrate a power walk, solidly rooting their feet into the ground with each stride. Except for the breeding season and when nurturing their young, they are largely solitary and nocturnal animals, most active during dusk or in the early morning. They do not hibernate and mate during winter. They exhibit an average lifespan of 30 years. They are omnivorous, feeding on leaves, saplings, fruit, honey, and larvae. The Formosan Black Bear was selected as the representative wild animal in Taiwan in 2001.
Formosan Field Mouse TMMA0150
The Formosan Field Mouse is an endemic species of Taiwan. They are seven to ten cm in length from head to body. Their fur is black brown on their backs and gray white on their abdomens. They have highly developed incisors and rear molars but no canines or front molars.
The Formosan Field Mouse is largely found in the mountain forests at medium and high elevations. They can be seen in and around severely excavated areas, hiking cabins, and construction sites. They are relatively abundant and live if caves. They are omnivorous nocturnal animals, feeding on fruit, saplings, and insects. They breed during the spring and fall seasons, giving birth to two to six mouse pups.
Formosan Serow TMMA0258
The Formosan Serow is a species of bovid endemic to Taiwan. They feature a black band at the center of their necks and black legs from the knee down. Both male and female serows bear a pair of horns that curve slightly backward. Their horns neither shed nor bifurcate and produce rings that can be used to determine their age.
The Formosan Serow can be found in mountain forests areas between 1,000 and 3,500 m above sea level, particularly at roughly 2,000 m above sea level. They are most active at night and in the early morning. They are solitary, timid, and extremely territorial. They feed on samplings and prefer milky-sap plants. They can live for (up to?) 15 years.
Taiwanese Mitten Crab TMCD000047
The Taiwanese Mitten Crab is an endemic species of Taiwan. They are also known as the Green Mitten Crab for its green exterior. Their carapaces are flat with a straight rim and can measure up to 6 cm in length. They have dense hair on the outer side of their legs. Their bodies are ink green in color accentuated with thin yellow spots. The spots are more obvious on their legs. They can be found in the rivers on the east coast of Taiwan, starting from Yilan County and ending in the Lu Liao River in Pingtung County. The largely reside under rocks and feed on the algae that grow on rocks. They may sometimes surface to feed on animal carcasses.
The Taiwanese Mitten Crab breeds during spring. Once females are impregnated at river estuaries, they descend into the seas to lay eggs. The eggs hatch in seawater. The zoeae moult and shed in the seawater and ascend to the river estuary once they transform into megalops and are six months old, where they further mature into young crabs. At this stage, they begin swimming upriver to live in freshwater. They fully mature in roughly two years and return to the depth of the seas to lay eggs.
Formosan Glass Lizard TMRL0013
The Formosan Glass Lizard are legless, similar to snakes. They exhibit a small, distinct scale between their snout scales and nasal scales. They also have 16 rows of scales on their backs. They are glossy deep brown or yellow brown in color and do not have blue horizontal spots. They have a white belly and an obvious fold from the bottom of the neck to the tail. Young glass lizards resemble adults but exhibit dark, horizontal spots on either side of their bodies.
The Formosan Glass Lizard is an endemic species of Taiwan. They have currently been sighted in the Taipei and Yilan regions. They reside on the floor of primitive forest areas in Taiwan, between 500 and 1,500 m above sea level. They prefer the humid earth of natural forests. Their numbers are scarce, and they are timid reptiles, making them extremely difficult to find. They are assumed to hatch from eggs and can voluntarily detach their tails.
Crane River Prawn TMCD000084
The Crane River Prawn is an endemic species of Taiwan. They are a large species with broad head and body. They are green and brown with two to three dark lines running down their chest. They exhibit a sharp forehead and slight protrusions above the eyes. They also feature thin, long legs, growing to twice the length of a mature male’s abdominal section.
They are primarily found near the Changhong Bridge section of the Siouguluan River and extend towards the sea. They prefer the muddy and rocky downriver area and the slightly saline river estuaries. They are sometimes seen in the middle section of the river. They feed on organic debris and carcasses.
Formosan Fiddler Crab TMCD000028
The Formosan Fiddler Crab is a large fiddler crab species endemic to Taiwan. They are roughly 3 cm in length and present an inverted triangular shape. The right legs of the male crab gradually transition from a dark brown to white from the base to the tip. Their claw is yellow and brown in color with white spots. They build chimney-shaped nests during the breeding season.
The Formosan Fiddler Crab prefers viscous sand. Their population has exploded in the Hong Shu Lin area in recent years, not only reducing habitable land but also competing with the more dominant Uca Fiddler Crab. Moreover, habitable land in Xiang Shan Wetland of Hsinchu is severely threatened by the construction of the wastewater recycling plant.
Bestra Sparrow Hawk TMAV1718
The Bestra Sparrow Hawk is a subspecies of sparrow hawk endemic to Taiwan. They are one of the smallest resident hawks in Taiwan. They feature gray back feathers, a white throat with a black central line, black spots on the upper chest, and dense brown spots on the lower chest. Their tail feathers are brown with four darker stripes.
The Bestra Sparrow Hawk is extremely well hidden. They largely reside in mountain forests at low or medium elevations. They are extremely aggressive and frequently attach other predators. Therefore, they are sometimes referred to as tiger hawks. They primarily feed on other bird species, but also hunt rodents, lizards, frogs, and insects. They breed between April and August. Males and females build their nests together, and females lay three to four eggs.
Taiwan Blue Pheasant TMAV0167/TMAV0166
The Taiwan Blue Pheasant is a large species in the pheasant family. Males wear a coat of glossy, dark blue feathers with a white crown and rear neck. Two snowy white feathers extend from their backs, while the rest of their tail feathers are brown black. Females have dark brown feathers with black spots on their back and dark red brown tail feathers. Sub-adult birds look similar to females with darker feathers. Their wings are covered in black and white spots.
The Taiwan Blue Pheasant is found in mountainous areas between 2,000 and 3,000 m above sea level, primarily on the surface of primitive broad-leaved forests or mixed natural forests. They are timid and well-hidden. They are extremely attentive and move without sound. Therefore, they are difficult to detect. They are omnivorous and feed during the early morning or dusk. Their diets primarily comprise fruit, saplings, young leaves, and seeds. They may also feed on certain invertebrates, such as earthworms and termites. Their breeding season is between April and June each year. Females lay between 2 and 12 cream-colored eggs, which take roughly 25 days to hatch. Fledglings exhibit a chestnut brown upper body and white or light red lower body with an orange, red-brown crown.
The Taiwan Blue Pheasant is an endemic species of Taiwan. However, as the Han population grew in Taiwan, much of the pheasants’ low-lying forest habitats were destroyed, resulting in a sharp decline in pheasant population. Their survival was further threatened by extensive hunting.
Hundred Pacer TMRS0305
The Hundred Pacer is a medium-sized snake measuring between 73 and 126 cm. The largest ever recorded was 150 cm. They have thick bodies with a triangular head. They exhibit a snout that slightly curves upward and triangular black markings on either side of their body. They are primarily found on the surface of mountain forests. They lie silently bundled together to blend in with the fallen leaves, waiting for their prey almost(?). They are aggressive and have extremely toxic venom that could kill an adult quickly. They are nocturnal, generally active in the early morning, at sunset, and at night. Females lay between 11 and 35 eggs between June and August. Eggs take three weeks to a month to hatch. Snakelets measure up to 21 cm. Females are protective of her eggs and fend off predators with deadly venom.
The Hundred Pacer can be found in low-lying areas across Taiwan and in Southwest and Southeast China. They prefer stone mounds or low slopes in mountain areas or forests. The Rukai Tribe, an indigenous tribe in Taiwan, worship the Hundred Pacer and illustrate their patterns on beautiful totems, engravings, and apparel.
Many-Banded Krait TMRS0635
The Many-Banded Krait exhibits an oval, jet-black head and black and white rings on its back and tail. The black rings are broader than the white rings. They also exhibit a row of scales in the center of their bodies that are larger than the other scales. A row of the larger scales is also found on their tail. They have short fangs located on the upper jaw. The fangs inject a powerful neurotoxin. They have 15 rows of scales in the middle section of their bodies.
The Many-Banded Krait can be found in low-lying (below 1,000 m) areas across Taiwan, Kinmen, and Matsu. They are also found in Southeast and South China. They prefer mountainous regions and well-irrigated lands, such as paddy fields, streams, and ponds. They are gentle and are unlikely to attack people unless they are threatened or disturbed. They mate in fall and lay eggs the following spring. A krait next comprises between 3 and 20 eggs that required a month to hatch. Snakelets measure up to 25 cm. They are extremely poisonous and feed on frogs, other snakes, lizards, prawns, and fish.
Bamboo Viper TMRS0337
The Bamboo Viper is long and thin. They have a boreal pit between the eyes and nose. They have large fangs that inject a potent hemotoxin. They have brick-red eyes with vertical irises. They have consistent emerald green scales on their backs and light green or yellow green scales on their abdomens. A white line can be observed on either side of their bodies. Males largely have an extra red line underneath the white line with a short section of brick red scales on the tip of their tails. They feature 21 longitudinal rows of scales on their mid-body.
They can be found across Taiwan and Lanyu in regions up to 2,000 m above sea level. They are also found in South China, southeast of Jilin Province, Northeast India, Myanmar, and North Thailand to Vietnam. They prefer a variety of habitats and can be found in almost all slightly humid environments. They are slow and extremely aggressive. They mate in fall and females lay eggs the following summer. The vipers’ nest comprises 2 to 15 snakelets, measuring up to 26 cm. They are extremely poisonous and feed on frogs, lizards, birds, and small mammals.
The Cobra has an oval head with short fangs that inject a potent neurotoxin. They have thick bodies with black or dark brown scales on their backs. They feature an obvious wide, gray white ring around their necks and numerous thin gray white markings on their backs. When they are aggravated, the Cobra will raise the top half of its body to display its spoon-like head. When raised, the gray white ring on its neck looks similar to a pair of glasses.
They can be found across Taiwan and Matsu in regions up to 1,000 m above sea level. They are also found on islands in the southern hemisphere and South China, including Hong Kong and Hainan Island. The prefer dry mountainous regions, farmlands, or slopes with a blend of weeds and shrubs. They are extremely aggressive. Females lay between 7 and 25 eggs in summer, which take roughly 1.5 to 2 months to hatch. Snakelets measure up to 20 cm. Females are extremely protective of their offspring. They are extremely poisonous and feed on fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and rodents.
The Eastern Russell’s Viper is short and plump. They have large nostrils and lack a boreal pit between the eyes and nose. They feature small fangs that inject power venom. They exhibit three large black brown markings on their backs, a brown or gray brown head, and three rows of black brown markings white margins, similar to a chain. The scales on their bodies are ridged.
The Eastern Russell’s Viper is an endemic subspecies of Taiwan and can be found in the low-lying regions of Eastern and Southern Taiwan (below 1,000 m). They can also be found in South China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Eastern Java. They prefer vast and dry mountain regions, excavated land, and gravel riverbanks. They are slow and extremely aggressive. They are sensitive to interference and issue a warning noise when aggravated. They mate between February and March and give birth between August and October. They are ovoviviparous and give birth to 20 to 63 snakelets. They are extremely poisonous and feed on frogs, birds, and small mammals.
Source: National Taiwan Museum