Seven national parks in Taiwan showcase the diverse terrain, flora and fauna of the archipelago. Kenting National Park on the southern tip of Taiwan contains uplifted coral reefs, moist tropical forest and marine ecosystems. Yushan National Park has alpine terrain, mountain ecology, forest types that vary with altitude, and remains of ancient road. Yangmingshan National Park has volcanic geology, hot springs, waterfalls, and forest. Taroko National Park has marble canyon, cliff, and fold mountains. Shei-Pa National Park has alpine ecosystems, geological terrain, and valley streams. Kinmen National Park has lakes, wetlands, coastal topography, flora and fauna-shaped island. Dongsha Marine National Park has the Pratas reef atolls for integrity, a unique marine ecology, biodiversity, and is a key habitat for the marine resources of the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.
The flora is closely related to that of southern China and the Philippines. Taiwan has almost 190 plant families, about 1,180 genera, and more than 3,800 species, of which indigenous members constitute about one-third of the total flora. Mangrove forest is found in tidal flats and coastal bays. From sea level to a height of 2,000 m (6,600 ft) is the zone of broad-leaved evergreen tropical and subtropical forest, where ficua, pandanus, palms, teak, bamboos, and camphors are commonly found. The mixed forest of broad-leaved deciduous trees and conifers occupies the next zone, extending from a height of 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,600-9,800 ft). Pines, cypresses, firs, and rhododendrons are grown in this region. Above this level is the zone of coniferous forests, composed mainly of firs, spruce, juniper and hemlock.
The western mountain forests are very diverse, with several endemic species such as Formosan cypress and Taiwan fir, while the camphor laurel was once also widespread at lower levels (now mostly cleared for agricultural land).
The mammals so far discovered number more than 60 species, 45 of which appear to be indigenous to the island. The largest beast of prey is the Formosan black bear. Foxes, flying foxes, deer, wild boar, bats, squirrels, macaques and pangolins are some of the mammals seen on the island. There are more than 330 species and subspecies of birds, of which 33 are common to the island, China, and the Philippines, and about 87 are peculiar forms. More than 65 species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the island. There is an abundance of snakes, of which 13 species are poisonous. The insect life is rich and varied.
Prior to major Taiwanese economic success, the mountainous areas held several endemic animal species and subspecies, such as the Swinhoe's pheasant, Taiwan blue magpie, Formosan black bear, the Formosan sika deer and the Formosan landlocked salmon. A few of these are now extinct, and many others have been designated endangered species.