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Dancing with Fireflies
Last Change Time:2016-04-14Published by:Planning Section
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「銀燭秋光冷畫屏,輕羅小扇撲流螢;天階夜色涼如水,坐看牛郎織女星。」(Her candle light is silvery on her chill bright screen / her little silk fan is for fireflies; / She lies watching her staircase cold in the moon, / and two stars parted by the River of Heaven.) This famous seven character quatrain by Du Mu named “In the Autumn Night” may be a well-known catchy verse memorized by many growing up, but not a lot of people actually experienced such a picturesque situation. Fireflies are extremely sensitive to the ecological conditions of their environment, not able to survive in the concrete and steel cities and light and noise pollutions. Due to this, those living in the cities are missing out on the chance to meet these fireflies. Alishan however, managed to preserve a natural ecological environment for fireflies. Want to dance with fireflies? Come to Alishan!

The best season for watching fireflies is April to June of every year in Alishan. Alishan National Scenic Area Administration asked Taiwan’s Endemic Species Research Center in 2004 to conduct a research for a year. Results showed that there are as much as 23 active species of fireflies on Alishan, about a third of the whole island. In fact, Alishan have fireflies all four-season, but April – June contain the more active kinds. Those include Luciola cerata Olivier, Curtos sauteri Olivier, Luciola filiformis Olivier, Luciola kagiana Matsumura, and Luciola anceyi Oliier. During summer season, there are more species like Luciola praeusta Kiesenwetter, Luciola trilucida, Pyrocoelia prolongata, and Pyrocoelia analis. Luciola cerata Oliviers are the majority on Alishan and thousands can be seen at its peak period. They are known as Alishan Scenic Area’s best firefly actor. They mostly crow in below 1500m above sea level, with a yellowish green light, and occurrence concentrated between March and June. They like to crowd together in a more open grass area or river bed with no light. They are the most populated Taiwan fireflies.

The best time for fireflies watching would be around 5pm to 8pm, but it is best to avoid full moons or periods of continuous rain. In addition, it is best to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sports shoes or hiking shoes. If wading in water or walking through bamboo forest is needed, it is best to have someone familiar with the terrain to lead. Also remember to wear long rain boots to prevent snake attacks. Flashlights should be covered in a layer of cellophane to not affect the light of the fireflies.

Under the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration, a series of dancing with fireflies’ actives were initiated, unifying communities of Chiayi County such as Rueili, RueiFung, Taihe, Fungshan, Laiji, Guanhua, and Chashan. Routes for firefly watching include Chashan's Tunalbana Natural Ecological Areas, from Fenchihu → Train Station to Tu Di gung, Taihe→ HuaShi River Ecological Protection Zone, Rueili → Ruolan Shan Zhuang, Rueili Elementary School →Sanhua B&B, GuangHua Village→Yima River Farm, Fengshan→village and viewing platform route, Lijia→ QuinShui Route etc. In particular, the Reuili, Chashan, Taihe, and Fenchihu routes are more famous. Each route is also special for its own communities. For example, Taihe has an ecological tour for Chanshan Forest Trail, Guanhua community has a tribal tour, Chanshan community has natural SPA and Tso Tribe culture, Laiji community has a natural Titanic, Fengshan community has majestic cliffs, Rueifung community has a coal collecting old trail, and Rueili has Rueitai old trail and Yuntan waterfall……..This midsummer's night dream of beautiful sceneries and fireflies at night cannot be missed!
  • Activity location
  • Alishan Twonship, Chaiyi County
  • Organizer
  • Alishan National Scenic Area Administration
  • Activity time
  • From 4Month to 6Month ever year
  • Remark
  • The specific details are accurate only through the organizers' announcements on time and location, please note the website for update.
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