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Taiwan

OLogy Series
place
card
333

Taiwan

OLogy Series
place

About 120 kilometers (75 miles) off the coast of China is the island of Taiwan. Although this country is small, it is a place of great diversity: diverse geography, wildlife, and people. It has rugged mountains peaks to rolling plains and small villages to the bustling capital city of Taipei. Its diverse landscape and geologic history have also created ideal habitats for many of butterfly species.

The Tropic of Cancer runs through the center of Taiwan. This line of latitude also runs through:

Florida

Mexico

Southern California

Are you right?

Correct!

This line marks the northern boundary of the tropics. Southern Taiwan has a tropical climate, but the northern part and high mountains have more temperate climates. Across the island, summer is the monsoon, or rainy season.

Taiwan is considered one of the "Asian Tigers" because:

it has a strong military

it has a successful, fast-growing economy

it has one of the best baseball teams

Are you right?

Correct!

"Asian Tigers" are regions with some of the world's fastest growing economies. With a skilled and educated workforce, Taiwan has become a leader in the electronics industry. Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea are other "Asian Tigers."

About two percent of people in Taiwan belong to indigenous groups. About ninety-eight percent are descendants of immigrants from:

China

Japan

Thailand

Are you right?

Correct!

Chinese immigrants first came to Taiwan in the 1600s. Then many more came after 1949, when the Chinese government was overthrown by the communist party. Today, Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy.

The main island of Taiwan is long and narrow. What covers most of the island?

beaches

plains

mountains

Are you right?

Correct!

Mountain ranges with diverse forest habitats run from north to south along the island. Rivers flow across the island, cutting deep gorges through the mountains. Most people live in the rolling plains on the western side of the island.

More than a thousand animal species in Taiwan live nowhere else on Earth.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

During the ice ages, animals migrated from the continent to island across a land bridge. Over thousands of years, species were isolated and adapted to Taiwan's unique habitats.

Taiwan is so small, its butterflies can live anywhere on the island.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Many butterfly species have adapted to specific habitats on the island. For example, some can live only on the high mountains, while others are found only in tropical forests.

In geological time, Taiwan is a "young" island.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Taiwan island formed about 6.5 million years ago when two tectonic plates collided.

Population: 22.9 million
Size: 35,980 square kilometers (a little smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined)
Capital and Largest City: Taipei
Geography: rugged mountains, plains
Official Language: Mandarin Chinese
Natural Hazards: earthquakes, typhoons
Cool Fact: Taiwan is sometimes called Formosa, because early Portuguese sailors called it Ilha Formosa or "Beautiful Island."