The State of Taiwan's Birds

The State of Taiwan's Birds 2020 report is the first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of Taiwan's bird species. Government, academia, and civil society came together to create this important milestone in Taiwan's bird conservation work. It integrates data collected through long-term citizen science projects and scientific studies, providing an in-depth analysis of overall species population trends, the status of specific bird groups, current threats, and conservation strategies and actions. It is hoped that this report can enable readers to better understand the current situation faced by Taiwan's birds and contribute to furthering the discussions surrounding global bird conservation efforts.



Composition of Taiwan's Avifauna

Taiwan is a land rich in avian biodiversity. For such a small country, it has a high number of both endemic and resident species. Also, each year thousands of migratory birds come to Taiwan for refueling, wintering, or breeding due to its central location on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. According to the 2020 Checklist of the Birds of Taiwan, a total of 674 bird species have been recorded in Taiwan, including 29 endemic species, 55 endemic subspecies, 14 summer visitors, 162 winter visitors, 91 transient migrants, 29 seabirds, and 171 vagrant species.

Taiwan's Protected Areas and IBAs

Protected areas account for 32.94% of Taiwan's total land area, with most being located in the central mountains. Meanwhile, the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation has worked with its partners to protect the critical habitat of bird species via establishing Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. The purpose of IBAs is to promote the importance of habitat conservation by using birds as indicators of biodiversity. In the case of resident birds, this designation can lead to regional area protections. For migratory species, coordinated efforts extending beyond borders are needed. This fosters international collaboration and helps establish comprehensive conservation networks necessary for maintaining migration routes. Taiwan currently has 54 IBAs and the TWBF is working to propose two new sites which would bring the total to 56, covering 1/5 of Taiwan's area.

An Overview of the Status of Taiwan's Birds: The National Red List

Originally developed by the IUCN in 1964, the Red List uses a set of science-backed criteria to evaluate the extinction risk for all species and taxon on the planet. It has become the international standard for evaluating extinction rates and provides a basis for prioritizing recovery programs and research, monitoring the adequacy of conservation measures, gaining support for habitat protection, and facilitating resource allocation. In 2016 Taiwanese researchers compiled the first Red List of the Birds of Taiwan using this criteria. A total of 674 candidate species were initially selected for assessment. In the end, 311 species were evaluated further. This information is an important tool for government agencies or any other stakeholder doing biodiversity conservation work in Taiwan. It not only provides the status of each species, but also lists those which are in need of action plans.

Special Thanks


Adam Lee, Allen Lyu, An-Yu Chang, Chien-Hsum Cheng, Chien-Jung Peng, Chung-Han Hung, Chung-Yu Chiang, Chen En-Li, Da-Li Lin, Hau-Jie Shiu, Cheng-Te Hsu, Hsuan Chang, Hsueh-Chin Chen, Hui-Shan Lin, I-Ching Chen, Jerome Chie-Jen Ko, Jhen-Fang Wang, Jia-Jia Lyu, Jo-Szu Tsai, Julia Hsiang-Wen Huang, Jung-Hsuan Weng, Kung-Kuo Chiang, Kun-Hai Lin, Le-Ning Chang, Ling-Min Wang, Mei-Ru Su, Meng-Wen Fan, Pei-Fen Lee, Ruey-Shing Lin, Scott Pursner, Shiao-Yu Hong, Shih-Hong Wu, Shih-Peng Tsai, Shun-Yun Chang, Tzu-Chien Kuo, Tzung-Su Ding, Wan-Jyun Chen, Wei-Jia Wen, Wen-Chen Lee, Wen-Chie Chih, Wen-Chien Wang, Wen-Yang Fang, Ya-Jung Lu, Yi-ChiaoLi, Yong-Kun Huang, Yong-Lun Lin, Yuan-Hsun Sun, Yu-Chen SU, Yu-Min Yeh

Supporting Organizations

Center for General Education of Nanhua University
D.Y.X. Ecological Consultant Co., Ltd.
Department of Biological Resources, National Chiayi University
Department of Ecoscience and Ecotechnology, National University of Tainan
Department of Life Sciences, National Cheng Kung University
Department of Life Sciences, Tunghai University
Dongshih Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan
Endemic Species Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan
Graduate Institute of Bioresources, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University
Institute of Marine Affairs and Resource Management, National Taiwan Ocean University
Institute of Wildlife Conservation, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society
Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council, Executive Yuan
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Conservation Park
Raptor Research Group of Taiwan
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland
School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University
Taiwan Black-Faced Spoonbill Conservation Association
Taiwan Wild Bird Federation
Wild Bird Society of Penghu
Wild Bird Society of Taipei
Wild Bird Society of Yunlin

Sponsored By:

Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan