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Location Taiwan (China), Lianjiang (Fujian)
Central coordinates 120o 2.00' East  26o 13.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 72 ha
Altitude 0 - 50m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Chinese Wild Bird Federation

Site description Extent of this site: includes Hsuangtsi Reef of Dongyin Village; Sanlian Islet, Middle Island, Tiejian Island, Baimiao, and Jin Islet of Beigan Village; Liuchuan Reef of Nangan Village; and Sheshan of Chuguang Village including the marine area extending 100 m out from the low tidal line. The Matsu Islands are primarily composed of granite, and many of the islands are uninhabited. The geography and climate are not conducive for agriculture here. For example, there are no mountains sheltering the land, so winds are very strong year round. The annual average temperature is 19°C, and the annual precipitation is less than 1,000 mm. Therefore, the natural condition is not advantaged to agricultural development. However, Matsu has very special geographic location, southwest of the Danshan Archipelago of Mainland China. It is also located near the convergence of cold and warm ocean currents, so the fishery resources are abundant. For these reasons, tens of thousands of birds migrate through, winter, and breed here.

Key Biodiversity IBA Al criterion species: Chinese Crested Tern • Eight adult Chinese Crested Terns were observed in June 2000. Four nests were found, and 1 young bird successfully fledged from each nest. IBA A4iii criterion species: a variety of gulls and terns that breed here in summer. • The greatest numbers of Greater Crested Terns in Taiwan occur here, with a maximum of 4,190 birds recorded in July 1997. This is the only known site where the Black-tailed Gulls breed in Taiwan, with a maximum of 1,200 birds recorded in April 1999. • The maximum number of Bridled Terns is 3,300 birds. The average number of Roseate Terns is around 800 and 2,200, and Black-naped Terns is 250. • At this site, 250 species of birds have been recorded. • Other rare or protected birds include Red-throated Diver, White-faced Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Short-tailed Shearwater, Japanese Cormorant, Black-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, and Chinese Egret.

Non-bird biodiversity: • More than 500 native plants can be found in this area. Some endemic plants, ex: Lycoris radiata, Lilium sp., Pyrus sp., Chionauthus retusus var Serrulatus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes winter  2001  unknown  A1  Vulnerable 
Chinese Crested Tern Thalasseus bernsteini breeding  2000  8 individuals  good  A1, A4i  Critically Endangered 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii breeding  1997  4,190 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  2001  800-2,200 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana breeding  2001  250 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus breeding  2001  3,300 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Matsu Island Term Wildlife Refuge 72 is identical to site 72  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea   major
Coastline   major

Protection status PA

References • Matsu Islands Tern Refuge. Lianjiang County Government, Fujian Province. Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan. • Lee, J. Y. 2000. Butterflies of Matsu Islands. Lianjiang County Government, Fujian Province. • Matsu Islands Tern Refuge Website: • WBFT. Bird Database.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Matsu (Mazu) Islands Tern Refuge. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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