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The Ministry of Culture’s National Taiwan Museum (NTM), Marine National Park Headquarters (MNPH), Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica and Taiwanese Coral Reef Society co-organized the “Dongsha Atoll” exhibition, which takes place between December 28, 2012 and September 1, 2013 at the NTM. In total, four main themes including Dragon King Ring, Ocean Treasure, Guarding Sea Palace and the Interactive Learning Section combine to introduce Dongsha Atoll’s geographical location, marine environment, magnificent marine biological resources and its current threats, destruction and pollutions. In addition, feasible and sustainable conservation guidelines will be proposed to allow the public to catch a glimpse of its resplendent appearance, in turn evoking their awareness of coral reefs and marine ecology.

The parent-child interactive area in the exhibition features e-book volumes such as “Blue Oasis – Dongsha Ocean”, “Precious Dongsha – Intertidal Mollusk”, “Verdant Waves – Dongsha Sea Grass Bed” and “Traveling in Dongsha – Shitang Picture Book”. Furthermore, there are also videos such as “Exploring Dongsha”, “Mysterious Dongsha”, “Sea Grass of Dongsha” and “Coral Reef Castle”.

According to the Director of the MNPH Yang Mo-lin, Dongsha Atoll National Park currently falls under the jurisdiction of the MNPH; it is the first marine national park in Taiwan focused on marine resource conservation, rehabilitation and long-term ecological monitoring and study. Since its establishment, it has continued to promote ecological monitoring and investigation, rehabilitation testing, marine resource conservation promotion and environmental education in Dongsha Atoll National Park. In 2013, it will collaborate with the National Science Council to create an international marine research station in Dongsha Island, hoping to encourage global conservation organizations and academics from all over the world to participate in marine ecology studies and educational events, thereby internationalizing Dongsha’s sustainable management.

According to the NTM, Dongsha Atoll is 240nm (roughly 450km) from Kaohsiung, and is home to rich coral reef ecology, marine life and often referred to as the underwater tropical rainforest featuring exceptionally diverse bio resource, hence it possesses considerable significance to the sustainable development of mankind. As of October 2012, 303 coral species, 679 fish species, 283 mollusks, echinoderm and crustacean species, as well as 7 sea grass and 148 large algae species were have been counted, together with 211 plant and 258 bird species in the Dongsha territory. Consequently, this is an ecological treasure chest that we should be proud of and protect.

How is the unique atoll formed? According to speculations by researchers, during the initial stages of Dongsha Atoll’s development, coral reefs mostly likely became attached to carbonate bedrock in the shallow waters. With the decrease in sea level during tertiary and quaternary glaciation, the carbonate bedrock provided a good nurturing environment for the shallow water coral reefs. Subsequently, when the South China Sea seabed fractured and sank, the sea level rose, and the coral reef in Dongsha continued to grow and develop to form a complete atoll. Dongsha Atoll has a diameter of 25km, while the 46-km-long and 2-km-wide reef platform covers an area of 500km2, making it a complete coral reef ecosystem and a hotspot for diverse marine life. At low tide, the reef platform reveals itself above the water; the deepest part of the atoll lagoon is 22m. The average depth of the atoll lagoon is between 10 to 15m, while the average water depth around Dongsha Island is between 2 to 5m. The south and north waterway has a depth of 5 to 8m, and the lagoon features the largest sea grass bed in Taiwan. Currently, there are 7 species of sea grasses, including Halodule uninervis, Cymodocea rotundata, Cymodocea serrulata, Syringodium isoetifolium, Thalassiodendron ciliatum, Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis.

The NTM is located at No.2, Xiangyang Rd., Taipei City, inside the 228 Peace Memorial Park. Business hours are between Tuesday to Sunday 09:30~17:00. For further information regarding various exhibitions and events, please visit the NTM official website http://www.ntm.gov.tw/, or contact 886-2-2382-2566.

The Dongsha Atoll exhibition poster

 

The Dongsha Atoll exhibition poster

 

Dongsha Melithaea ochracea and Sarcophyton trocheliophorum (Marenzeller) Children experiencing the interactive area of The Dongsha Atoll exhibition Parent and child view The Dongsha Atoll exhibition together

Dongsha Melithaea ochracea and

Sarcophyton trocheliophorum

(Marenzeller)

Children experiencing the interactive

area of The Dongsha Atoll exhibition

 

Parent and child view The Dongsha

Atoll exhibition together

 

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