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October2023- February2024

The Laonong River valley of Dawu Mountain, Maolin District, Kaohsiung City becomes crowded with purple crow butterflies from October to February in the next year annually. Coming from the North, the butterflies are here in clusters to spend their winter. In fact, about 100,000 to 200,000 purple crow butterflies show up Maolin every year.

About Purple Butterfly Valley

Taiwan's "Purple Butterfly Valley" and America’s "Monarch Butterfly Valley" are equally famous, and both are world-class natural assets. Maolin is one of the world’s only two valleys where butterflies overwinter. Each November through March, Black Crow butterflies gather in the valleys of the Dawu Mountains to escape winter’s harshness until spring comes, which is when they head back north again.

Every winter, the Black Crow butterflies descend, in giant purple swarms, on the slopes of the warm sheltered valleys at the foot of the Dawu Mountains, the sacred mountains of the Rukai and Paiwan tribes in southern Taiwan. With the colony in some years approaching one million, Purple Butterfly Valley, along with Monarch Butterfly Valley on Mexico’s Pacific coast, counts as one of the world’s two biggest ‘butterfly overwintering valleys’. (Purple Butterfly Valley is not an official place name, but butterfly researchers use it to refer to ecological habitat where the Black Crow butterflies overwinter.) After many years of tracking and observation, experts have discovered that the route followed by the purple butterfly as it flies to the north and back starts in Maolin, and passes through Moon World, Tanayiku Valley, Chiayi, Hupen Village, Linnei Township, Yunlin, Pakua Mountain, Changhua, Tatu Mountain, Taichung, Huoyen Mountain, Miaoli and then on to Chunan, Hsinchu. That how the butterfly freeway is connected.

  • The envy of the world, this world-class ecological landscape is also one of Taiwan’s natural phenomena ranked as a national treasure, and is recommended by the international travelers and gourmets bible ‘Michelin’s Green Guide to Taiwan' as a three-star (highest rating) must-see attraction, being the only ecotourism site selected in Taiwan. The most important species clustering in Purple Butterfly Valley are: Euploea tulliolus koxinga, Euploea mulciber barsine, Euploea eunice hobsoni, Euploea sylvester swinhoei. When they gather here to overwinter, it’s a marvelous sight that no Black Crow lover from anywhere in the world can afford to miss.