Kenting National Park

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Kenting National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Nanwan (South Bay).jpg
Nanwan Beach in Kenting National Park
LocationTaiwan
Nearest cityHengchun
Area333 km2 (129 sq mi)
Established1 January 1984
Visitors8,376,708 (in 2014)
Governing bodyKenting National Park Administration Office
www.ktnp.gov.tw/en/

Kenting National Park (Chinese: 墾丁國家公園; pinyin: Kěndīng Gúojiā Gōngyuán), also known as just Kenting (Chinese: 墾丁; pinyin: Kěndīng), is a national park in Pingtung County, Taiwan. It was created on 1 January 1984. It is Taiwan's oldest and southernmost national park. It is also Taiwan's most popular national park. Five million people went to Kenting in 2016.[1]

Location of Kenting National Park in Taiwan

History[change | change source]

The meaning of "Kenting" is pathfinders or pioneers.

The park was the home of many Aboriginal cultures. Seventeen prehistoric sites have been found in the park. Most sites are over 4000 years old. The Puyama tribe, which is the main tribe in the area, the Ami tribe, and the Siraiya Makatau tribe lived in the area.[2]

The Eluanbi Lighthouse was built near the tip of Taiwan in the late 1800s. This was because there were many shipwrecks near the area, including the American Rover incident. The lighthouse took twenty years to build. Aboriginal tribes had also attacked the lighthouse because they did not want it on their land. Because of that, the Chinese military had to guard the area. The lighthouse is the only armed lighthouse in the world.[3] During World War II, while under Japanese rule, there were many bombings on the lighthouse during the Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa. The lighthouse was soon rebuilt.[4]

Kenting National Park was created in 1984 by Chiang Ching-kuo. The area had damage from farming and building, so it was created to protect the land.[5]

In 2001, a Greek ship, the Amorgos, lost power while sailing to China close to the park.[6] In 2010, the hull of the ship split. It spilt 1100 tonnes of oil which collected around the park's shoreline.[7] It caused major damage to the sea and wildlife.[8] Almost 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) of the shore was affected by the spill. It affected 200 bird species and 2200 plant species in the park. It killed many crabs, fish, and clams.[9]

Geography[change | change source]

Kenting is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Taiwan Strait in the west and the Bashi Channel in the south.[2] The park covers almost 333 square kilometres (129 square miles). It has 181 square kilometres (70 square miles) of land and 152 square kilometres (59 square miles) of sea.

The park is in an area with a lot of tectonic activity.[2]

Biodiversity[change | change source]

The park has many species of plants and animals. It has 15 species of mammals, 310 species of birds, 59 species of reptiles and amphibians, 21 species of fish, 216 species of butterflies, and many species of insects.[10]

A lot of whales used to spend the winter in the sea around the park. During the Japanese rule, whaling caused disappearances of the whales. There aren't any whales in the area now.[11]

During the fall and the winter, a lot of migrating birds fly to the park to rest and feed. Almost 235 of the species of birds come to the park during this time.[10]

Climate[change | change source]

The park has a tropical climate. It has warm and hot weather for the whole year. The temperature in January is 21 °C (70 °F). In July it can get to 38 °C (100 °F). Rainfall is spread out over the whole year.[12]

Climate data for Kenting National Park
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24.8
(76.6)
25.3
(77.5)
27.5
(81.5)
29.5
(85.1)
31.0
(87.8)
31.5
(88.7)
32.0
(89.6)
31.7
(89.1)
31.1
(88.0)
29.8
(85.6)
27.6
(81.7)
25.0
(77.0)
28.9
(84.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.5
(70.7)
22.0
(71.6)
23.8
(74.8)
25.8
(78.4)
27.5
(81.5)
28.4
(83.1)
28.7
(83.7)
28.4
(83.1)
27.8
(82.0)
26.7
(80.1)
24.8
(76.6)
22.3
(72.1)
25.6
(78.1)
Average low °C (°F) 18.2
(64.8)
18.8
(65.8)
20.2
(68.4)
22.3
(72.1)
24.1
(75.4)
25.3
(77.5)
25.6
(78.1)
25.3
(77.5)
24.7
(76.5)
23.9
(75.0)
22.0
(71.6)
19.3
(66.7)
22.5
(72.5)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 25.7
(1.01)
27.7
(1.09)
19.9
(0.78)
43.5
(1.71)
163.9
(6.45)
371.3
(14.62)
396.3
(15.60)
475.2
(18.71)
288.3
(11.35)
141.8
(5.58)
43.2
(1.70)
20.6
(0.81)
2,017.4
(79.43)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 8.0 6.8 4.8 6.3 11.1 16.9 16.4 18.9 15.9 10.8 7.1 6.1 129.1
Average relative humidity (%) 72.6 73.7 74.4 75.4 78.5 83.6 83.3 84.0 79.7 74.0 70.8 70.7 76.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 168.0 165.1 199.7 192.6 193.9 183.6 221.0 195.5 177.2 198.1 177.7 161.4 2,233.8
Source: Central Weather Bureau[13]

Attractions[change | change source]

The Eluanbi Lighthouse, close to the south tip of Taiwan

Many people come to Kenting to do snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, and hiking.[12] There are also many nature parks, museums, and beaches in the area. They include the Sheding Nature Park, Eluanbi Lighthouse, the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, and the Jialeshui Beach.

References[change | change source]

  1. Strong, Matthew (8 April 2017). "Kenting is Taiwan's most popular national park". Taiwan News. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Kenting National Park". National Parks in Taiwan. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  3. "鵝鑾鼻燈塔". 鵝鑾鼻燈塔 (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  4. "Lighthouses of Southwestern Taiwan". The Lighthouse Directory. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  5. "Kenting National Park - A National Treasure". China Highlights. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  6. Santer, Richard; Karen Purnell, Chantal Guénette (March 2001). "AMORGOS, Oil Pollution Incident, Lungpan, Taiwan, 14th January 2001" (PDF). p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 November 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  7. "Taiwan". ITOPF. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  8. "Stranded tanker poses risk". Oil Spill (General OneFile): p. 3. June 2009. 
  9. "Garbage Running on Refuse". Opposing Viewpoints In Context (St. Petersburg Times): p. 6A. January 2010. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Wildlife". Kenting National Park. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  11. 蔡政修. "【鯨彩一生】鯨生鯨逝:台灣的捕鯨歷史". Taiwan Environmental Information Center (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Kenting National Park". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  13. "Climate". Central Weather Bureau. Retrieved 12 November 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 21°58′48″N 120°47′49″E / 21.98°N 120.797°E / 21.98; 120.797