Contrary to the popular notion that environmental conditions in the area adjacent to a cement plant would be negatively impacted, Asia Cement Ecological Park at Heping Cement Professional Area in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County turns out to be a leafy oasis on the bustling Provincial Highway 8, also known as Central Cross-Island Highway.
Please watch the following video of the magnificent park that features butterflies and stick insects in Taiwan.
Asia Cement Ecological Park
With an area of about one hectare (2.47 acres), this ecological park was established by the Asia Cement Corporation at its Hualian plant in 2004, and was open to the public in 2013, in line with its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Featuring the protection and conservation of butterflies, stick insects, and native plants, the Asia Cement Ecological Park is a unique educational and leisure garden that is composed of the Butterfly Ecological Garden, the Stick Insect Display Zone, and the Native Plant Garden.
Butterfly Ecological Garden
The Butterfly Ecological Garden boasts the largest private butterfly ecological park in Taiwan. There are over 60 species of nectar plants and more than 100 kinds of larval food plants in the immense area. Additionally, the exquisitely built Butterfly Net House that covers an area of about 2,000 square meters (0.5 care) is nestled in this garden.
It houses over 10 species of frequently found butterflies, including Kallima inachus formosana (Fruhstorfer), Byasa polyeuctes termessus (Fruhstorfer), Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus), Timelaea albescens formosana (Fruhstorfer), Triodes abacus, Papilio polytes, and even Troides aeacus formosanus, which is a national second-level protected butterfly.
It’s amazing to see a plethora of beautiful butterflies fluttering around in the Butterfly Net House and in other parts of the garden. What’s even better, visitors may turn over the leaves of larval food plants in the garden to gain further insight into a butterfly’s four stages of metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Stick Insect Display Zone
Another highlight of the Ecological Park is its Stick Insect Display Zone. Measuring a mere 200 square meters (0.05 acre) in size, the Stick Insect Zone is home to about 10 species of domestic and foreign stick insects. It gives visitors a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with domestic and foreign stick insects and get a close-up of these amazing creatures.
Native Plant Garden
The Asia Cement Ecological Park also comes in Pteridology Zone, Herb Zone, Fruit Zone, and Ecological Pond Zone. There are 417 species of plants belonging to 106 families in the park, of which 351 species are native to Taiwan. As a result, this garden indeed offers an ideal habitat for butterflies and is a great spot for butterfly watching.
Taiwan is the Kingdom of Butterflies
Taiwan was once dubbed the Kingdom of Butterflies, as it had the highest concentration of butterfly species in the world. Of the 370 species of butterfly recorded in Taiwan, 56 species are endemic to this country.
In winter, approximately a million butterflies migrate from various places in northern Taiwan to the overwintering site in the south. Some highways were even shut down to help countless butterflies to get rid of the interference from the heavy traffic on the highways. In recent years, mesh bridges have been set up over highways to facilitate migrating butterflies to pass over the highways.
In fact, Taiwan and Mexico are equally famous for the unique and amazing biological phenomenon of butterfly migration. The Purple Butterfly Valley in southern Taiwan’s Maolin National Scenic Area and the Monarch Butterfly Valley in Mexico are the only two valleys that butterflies overwinter in the world.