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Nature and Ecology

This is an imageThe Southwest Coast National Scenic Area is where the Chinese pioneers first settled after crossing the Taiwan Strait. The nutrient-rich sediment deposited by the rivers, the rise of the salt industry, and the development of tidal flats left the area with rich agricultural and fishery resources, creating the image of a coastal "homeland of farming and fishing.“
The Southwest Coast National Scenic Area boasts an expansive shoreline that features unique coastal landscapes such as dunes, sandbars, lagoons, estuaries, and wetlands. The area is home to a variety of wetland species including fish, shrimp, shellfish, snipe, plovers, sandpipers, and herons. It is also the area where the Han Chinese first arrived to develop the land. Hence, the salt and fishing industries began to prosper. The scenic area also includes numerous historic sites of national importance that have been preserved since olden times.

Chenglong wetland
This is an imageChenglong Wetlands Wetlands was formed due to the low altitude of the Lower Hukou area of Kouhu Township and the longstanding over-extraction of groundwater which resulted in serious land subsidence and frequent floods. The above-mentioned problems, compounded by the sea encroachment caused by typhoons, have turned the area into wetlands unsuitable for farming. Covering an area of 50 hectares, Chenglong Wetlands is a coastal spot suitable for bird-watching. The Wetlands is biologically rich with rare wild birds like black-faced spoonbills, mallards, greater painted-snipe, water redstarts, and short-eared owls.

Kouhu wetland
This is an imageThe grassy swamplands near Hukou Village in Kouhu Township contain rich ecological resources that attract an abundance of foraging waterfowl. In addition to birds of the Anatidae, Charadriidae, and Scolopacidae families, you can also see gregarious birds such as little egrets, cattle egrets, and savanna nightjars nesting and breeding here. At dusk you can see flocks of egrets returning to nest, and from the bird-watching station you can watch waterfowl soaring through the skies. A pathway beside the bird-watching station has been made into a bicycle path; from Sialun Primary School you can ride a bike past Botziliao Fishing Harbor to the Sialun North aquaculture area, cross the sea bridge, and then along Nioutiaowan River past Chenglong No. 2 Bridge and all the way to the Hukou Wetlands. The Hukou Relay Tower of the Central Broadcasting System adjacent to the bikeway and the grassland ecology area is a prominent local landmark, and the best place in the neighborhood for bird-watching is the Hukou Branch of Wunguang Primary School. This is a fine place for lifting your spirits by observing the plant and animal ecology of the wetlands and watching the sky painted in a multitude of colors by the setting sun.

Aogu wetland
This is an imageIn order to protect its Dongshi properties, Taiwan Sugar Corp. planted a windbreak on Aogu Wetlands, which later became a great flora/fauna habitat thanks to the excellent location where Beigang River meets the Liujiao Drainage Channel as well as the network of deserted farmland, fish farms, plantations and Beef Woods that crisscrosses the wetlands. Designated by the authorities in 2009 as the location for the Aogu Wildlife Conservation Sanctuary (overseen by Chiayi County Government), this wetland area features over 200 bird species and consequently draws attention from ornithologists worldwide. Among the internationally protected species inhabiting Aogu Wetlands are the Oriental White Stork, Black Stork, Black-faced Spoonbill, Chinese Egret, Sparrow-hawk, Chinese Sparrow Hawk, Grey-faced Buzzard, Osprey, Spotted Greenshank, Painted Snipe, Little Tern, and Brown Shrike. If the season is right, it will take just a short while to spot them either perching on tree branches or cheerfully greeting visitors by the pond-side.
South Budai Wetland, watching the migratory birds dancing and fluttering!
This is an imageSouth Budai Wetland is located within the idle salt field at the southern metropolitan side of Budai Township in Chiayi County. In the olden days, it was part of the sixth district salt fields of the Budai Salt plant. Its entire land area (including the lagoon water area) reaches around 1,385 hectares, connecting to West Coast Expressway and Zhanliaogou to the north, bordering Provincial Highway 17 and Budai Junior High School to the east, transcending across Longgong River up to Provincial Highway 17 to the south and bounded by the lagoon waters to the west. Several hundred years ago, South Budai Wetland was originally part of the lagoon water area of Daofeng Sea (which is the remains of Haomei Lagoon today). Subsequently, because our predecessors moved in and cleared the land, the surrounding fish farms became the source of food to feed that the residents of the surrounding settlements. It was until post-1930s that the Japanese expanded southwards and had urgent demand for salt which was acclaimed as the mother of industrial salt products and forcibly expropriated the breeding farms and turn them into salt manufacturing plants.     
In the 50s and 60s after Taiwan’s restoration, the salt drying industry once created the dazzling and rosy outlook of the “White Gold Era” along the Southwest coastal region of Taiwan. However, with the transformation of Taiwan’s society and economic structure, the salt industry in Taiwan could not fight off the globalized competition from the opening up of imports to salt products. Taiwan Salt Company ultimately announced the stopping of salt drying in 2002, officially bringing down the curtain on the development of the Taiwan salt industry.     
To date, the salt fields that have been idle for years have caused the ground strata to sink due to the extraction of underground water and erosion from the rainwater over the years. On the contrary, it has become an attraction for the flocks of migratory birds with nature in play. These summer migratory birds come here in search of food in the wetlands, especially during September of every year to April of the subsequent year. This area has even become the most important habitat for wild birds along the Southwest coast region.    
In the South Budai Wetland, you can see black-faced spoonbills and white spoonbills as well as other protected animals coming to this habitat  

Geloina Clam Pavilion
This is an imageThe horseshoe clam goes by the scientific name Geloina erosa and grows around mangrove stands in the intertidal zone, subsisting on algae. It is large and delicious, and is served here with an emphasis on its fresh original taste little altered by seasoning. The tasty flavor and fresh juices leave you reaching for clam after clam. The establishment offers a DIY "Feel Clams and Wash Your Trousers Too" experience that requires parents and children to work closely together; the joyful laughter of the children fill the air, and even adults have a happy time of it. There is also a display of the complete clam hatching and growth process, helping to make this a place where you can truly learn and have fun at the same time.
Black-faced Spoonbill Ecology Exhibition Hall
This is an imageThe black-faced spoonbill’s main habitats and protected areas are located in the reclaimed land at the northern bank of the Zengwen River. The local bird ecology is highly diverse. If you would like to know more about black-faced spoonbills, their behaviour, and their habitat, you can participate in some of the conservation activities held for them or visit the Black-faced Spoonbill Ecology Exhibition Hall in the protection area. The Center contains an information desk, a multimedia room, and an exhibition area, along with displays of the black-faced spoonbill’s life history, wetland ecology, and rare spoonbill specimens. An outdoor observation deck brings you closer to beautiful views of Cigu. Every winter when black-faced spoonbills arrive in the protection area, the Center sets up a video display to allow a closer view and a better introduction to these beautiful birds.

Waisanding Sand Bar
This is an imageThe lighthouse is located in the shallow sand bar of the external sea in Kouhu Township. The original purpose of establishment is to prevent boats that sailed in the nearby sea area from hanging up because of the sand bar. The lighthouse was built in 1914, it was once rebuilt because of the damage during these years. Due to the floating ground of sand bars, when the sand bar moves, the position of lighthouse will also change so that its function of guidance will be affected and that is the reason why it has been moved to the current location. The body of the lighthouse is made of steal building material and different from other lighthouses made of bricks and mud materials.

Tourist s can buy Dongshih local special products on the rafts in the Dongshih Harbor, such as green peppers, balsam pears, tomatoes, eels, clams, shrimps, etc.

Attention: Tourists need to register at the checking sentry box if they want to go to sea and tour Wansanding Islet. Generally, raft companies will take care of the application. If tourists want to land Wansanding Islet, they need to prepare slippers, light pants, gloves, plastic bags, sun hats, drinking water, umbrellas, and wind-proof coats.

Extended route: Yunlin County Hukou Wetlands Ecological Park, Leewanju's Former residence, Wendi Wetlands, Wansanding Islet Lighthouse, Aogu Wetlands, Budai Tourist Fishing Market.