Biosphere & Nature
The Pioneer of Research on Taiwan’s Natural History—Robert Swinhoe

In the 19th century, a succession of adventurers from Western countries came to Taiwan to collect animal and plant specimens for research. The earliest record of animal collection was the insects collected by Arthur Adams (1820-1878) on the Green Island in 1845. But Robert Swinhoe was the first to collect specimens on the main island of Taiwan, and meanwhile organized them systematically on a large scale, thus pioneering the research on Taiwan’s natural history.

Formosan Sambar

Formosan sambar (scientific name: Cervus Unicolor Swinhoei)is the largest herbivore in Taiwan, with the head and body length reaching about 180 cm, and the tail about 15cm. The females are 80 cm in shoulder height, while the males, a bit larger than the former, are about 120 cm. The males two antlers comes with sprouting tines  after the age of 3,and  at age 4 , each main beam of the antlers splits into two bifurcations forked at the tip, and then from the age of 5, there remains three branches on both antlers. 

Featured Collection: Formosan Muntjac

The Formosan Muntjac (scientific name: Muntiacus reevesi micrurus) weighs approximately 10 kg when fully grown and resembles a medium- to large-sized brown dog. It is generally believed that when the glacial age ended around 10,000 years ago or earlier, the Formosan Muntjac evolved independently into an endemic species of Taiwan after the land bridge connecting Eurasia and Taiwan had become submerged, separating it from its now-ancestors, the Reeves's Muntjac, who could be found in the south of China.

Information Explosion: The Taiwan Wild Plant Database

All living creatures co-exist in a network of interdependent relationships. The “interdependence of myriad creatures,” a huge and unfathomable phenomenon of life, comprises numerous puzzles that remain unsolved by science. For scientists, it is particularly difficult to take inventory of all the world’s species. At present, taxonomists have identified, named, described, and classified approximately 1.8 million species, which may seem like a large number but represents only an estimated 5%-10% of all living organisms. Thus, it is impossible to fully understand what “myriad creatures” truly means or to imagine how many organisms exist on earth.

Discovering a Fantasyland in the Back Hills—The World of Frogs Educational Website

Once an unprepossessing species in nature, frogs have now taken a lead role in cyberspace. Their images and sounds have become the focus of appreciation to the point that a group of frog enthusiasts now seeks to follow their tracks all around the island of Taiwan. “Chirp, chirp…” As the twitter of birds greets the ears, one should listen attentively to be sure if it is really coming from a bird. Perking up the ears to listen again, one then realizes what that sound is. The bird sound is just a trick, and is in fact the croaking of Swinhoe's frog. Such a curious sound comes neither from the mountains nor from the valleys, but rather from The World of Frogs, an educational website established by Yang Yiru, associate professor and director of the Graduate Institute of Ecology and Environmental Education at National Dong Hwa University.

Moltrechti’s Green Tree Frog

Moltrechti’s Green Tree Frog (Rhacophorus moltrechti Boulenger, 1908) is the most widespread species of tree frog in Taiwan. Ranging from the north of the island to the south, it can be found in low-elevation forests, orchards, cultivated land, and in mountain coniferous forests up to an altitude of 2000m.

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