Taiwanese Red Pine, Taiwanese White Pine, Taiwanese Incense-Cedar and Fagaceae are the species representative of this ecological environment. Taiwanese White Pines typically grow on the ridges while Taiwanese Red Pines are more commonly found in the valleys. The dominant species in an area depends entirely upon the lay of the land. This dichotomous division of territory is particularly clear-cut because terrain well-suited for Taiwanese White Pines is not suitable for Taiwanese Red Pines, and vice versa. This silent war between the two pine species makes for a delightfully moving ecological story. The view of pines standing on the ridges and the wall of cliffs next to deep valleys and rapid water is like a Chinese landscape painting. Fagaceae such as Blue Japanese Oak, Castanopsis fargesi, Franchet, Chinese Cork Oak and Green's Chestnut can be seen in the bamboo forest and along the trails. The nuts growing on these trees are favorites of squirrels and jays. In this area, over 90 species of birds live at mid-elevation. A mix of birds inhabits the charcoal trees on the Shiwen Creek bank. River birds such as the diminutive Fortail can easily be located on the giant rocks. At times, visitors are surprised by the presence of Long-tailed Formosan Blue Magpies flying over the wide valley. Basianshan is home to the adorable and precious Varied Tits, which even live in nest boxes provided by recreation area management! Large flocks of Yellow Tits and Black Bulbuls usually gather in fall and winter, while migratory Oriental Cuckoos and Large Hawk Cuckoos join the chorus in spring and summer. Their birdsongs can be heard throughout the year. During the day. butterflies and beetles are common, but fireflies, moths and stag beetles dominate the night. There are at least 13 species of beetles, 11 species of fireflies and 19 species of stag beetles. Insects, frogs and owls make up the evening choir.
Basianshan is a microcosm for understanding forest development. Although some organisms may die, the forest is alive with the ruins of shrines, a school, and the “Taiwan Top Eight Scenic Destinations” monument. Unfortunately, the remnants of the 1991-meter long cable have not yet been found, but the area’s logging history is still fascinating. Forests, creeks, waterfalls, rocks, valleys, birds and forestry history provide a variety of recreational opportunities and adventures. A trip to Basianshan is not only good for health but also is fulfilling in a spiritual way. Enjoying the hot-springs in Guguan on the way back will make the trip complete.