Lieyu biological survey finds rich trove of species

By Wu Cheng-ting  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - Page 4

The Kinmen Battlefield History Association on Friday announced the results of its Lieyu intertidal zone biodiversity survey, which recorded 286 species — including nearly 40 species that have never been officially documented in Taiwan before — found along more than 20km of coastline in Lieyu (烈嶼), also known as Little Kinmen.

The survey, commissioned by Kinmen National Park Headquarters, was the first to be carried out by a local cultural and historical workshop.

Project manager Hung Ching-chang (洪清漳) said his team established 15 survey points in the area, taking photographs and recording the ecology of the muddy beaches and rugged reefs during ebb tide every day for one year.

The team on several occasions spotted the remnants of war in the region, Hung said, adding that it was “fortunate to have so many mothers participating,” because they are often more careful.

Their good eyesight also helped them spot smaller species, some about the size of a grain of rice, such as the common egg cowrie, he added.

Kinmen National Park Headquarters had requested that the team photograph the previously recorded 150 species living in the area’s intertidal zone, but they encountered a diversity of life beyond their expectations, recording a total of 286 species — including nearly 40 species that have never been recorded in Taiwan, of which a few types of sea slugs and sea snails did not even have Chinese-language names, Hung said.

The project highlighted the lack of a thorough biological survey of Kinmen, witnessed Little Kinmen’s rich intertidal diversity of life and showed the tourism potential of exploring sustainable resources, he said.

Photographs of the marine species surveyed by the group are to be exhibited at the Guningtou War Museum (古寧頭戰史館) until the end of next month, Hung said.