Forbidding topography at Mount Leiti
Plant ecology
Fish pools & swamps
Family: Delta marsh
Nicknames: Marsh, fen, peatland

 The Akungtien Stream’s alluvial deposits formed sand beaches and wetlands along the coast. Mituo used to be a fishing port that sits on the estuary. Some of its fishing villages were erected upon the remains of shoals and lagoons. Villagers built fish farms on the wetlands.
   According to the 1971 version of the Ramsar Convention, wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary. They have static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt water. The topology includes marine water areas the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.
 Wetlands offer a perching place for wild animals and plants. They moderate floods, clear up toxicants in the water and offer moisture. When we maintain wetlands, we are protecting ourselves.
▲Black mangrove
Family: Verbena
Scientific name: Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh.
Nicknames: Red woods
 Botanists refer to several plants that grow in the brackish water as mangroves. The black mangrove is one of them. It has red timber, bark and flowers. People extract red dye out of the bark. Therefore, Chinese call the trees “red trees” and Malayans call its cortex "red bark”.
 Mituo’s mangroves are black mangroves. You see the evergreen arbors along fish farm ditches. The plant has opposite elliptical leaves which are 12 to 15 centimeters long. Leaf stems are also long.
 Flowering time is as long as four to six months. Aerial roots hang down from the trunk and branches, fork, go underground and become prop roots.

Family: Ciconiformes, Aredeidae
Scientific name: Avicennia marina (Forsk) Vierh
Nicknames: None
 We bump into egrets everywhere but tend to neglect them. They stay in groups around the rice paddies, streams, fish farms and lakes all year round. Egrets are a community member in Mituo.
 The little, intermediate and large white egrets are all local residents. The little egret has a black beak, a greenish yellow claw and several slender, pretty decoration feathers on the back of the head. The intermediate and large ones have sharp yellow beaks and black claws. The large egret has a longer and more curved neck.

▲Milk fish
Family: Chanidae
Scientific name: Chanos chanos
Nicknames: Seaweed fish, saba fish
 Milk fish is a euryhaline tropical fish, distributed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. South islanders cultivate them in salt water and fresh water fish farms. Mituo alone has about 600 hectares of fish farms.
 The books did not put down when Taiwan started to cultivate milk fish. People believe that Cheng, Cheng-kung promoted the breeding industry when he brought troops to the island. That means milk fish have existed in volume here for over three centuries.
 Dr. Lin, Mingnan noticed that Latin Americans call milk fish “sabador”. Many of the Dutch people that occupied Taiwan in the 17th century spoke Spanish. Maybe that is how come local people call milk fish “saba”. Another presumption is that the nickname derives from the Pingpu language.

  ▲Black-crowned night heron
  Scientific name: Nycticorax nycticorax
Nicknames: Twilight bird, night crane
   Night herons are widely distributed in Europe, Asia and Africa. They are also a familiar local resident in Taiwan. The Mituo villagers live primarily on fish farms, which offer a satisfactory foraging place for the night herons. They love the black mangroves there.
   In Mituo, all fish farms entertain little egrets and night herons. Other birds occasionally go astray and stay there for a while. As nocturnal waterfowls, night herons rest during the day in mangroves or windbreak forests during non-breeding seasons.
   Now that egrets are away during the day, night herons often hide in egrets’ nests. They are alert enough to leave before the ignorant egrets return to the sweet home and settle down for the night.
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