Taiwan has one of the highest butterfly species concentrations in the world with over 400 known species (56 endemic). While the famous North American migration only involves one species, the Monarch (Danaus plexippus), Taiwan’s is composed of four species of migrating (purple) milkweed butterflies and at least six species of tiger butterflies. Their return migration made international headlines in spring 2006 when it was proposed that one of Taiwan’s main freeways be closed to accommodate their safe passage to northern summer habitats.
Between November and March the warm valleys near Maolin, in the foothills of the Da-wu Mountains, are an ideal place to witness this amazing spectacle. Combine a trip to see the lepidoptera with some light hiking (strolling really), local sights, and a taste of Paiwan/Rukai tribal culture. Once known as the Butterfly Kingdom when exporting over 10 million butterflies per year in the 1960’s, Taiwan now eagerly protects habitats and conducts extensive research into butterfly behavior and conservation.
Note: We strongly suggest visiting on weekdays when visitor numbers – and therefore disturbances, are lower. Overnight accommodation, either guesthouse or camping, can be arranged, thus allowing visitors to appreciate the area in the early morning.
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Asia Taiwan Nature & Wildlife Hiking & Trekking