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Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park is the closest national park to Taipei. It is a volcanic-type park, with impressive volcanic terrain that is especially well known for its richness of butterflies. Most of the birds in the park area are low-elevation resident birds; there are no large wild mammals in the area, however, except for the occasional wild boar.
The volcanic terrain and the geological landscapes here are the most important characteristics of Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park, and the geologic features produced by volcanic action, crater lakes, sulfur fumaroles, geothermal energy, and hot springs have value for both study and recreation. Monsoon winds nourish a wide range of vegetation in the park, including tall- and short-grass plains, broadleaf forests, subtropical rain forests, and freshwater aquatic plants, all of which nourish the Taiwan isoetes, Datun peony, butterflies, and birds. The blossoming cherry trees and peonies that are grown in Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) Park make the most popular place for enjoying flowers in the Taipei area. February and March are the traditional flower season in Yangming Mountain (Yangmingshan) National Park.
In addition, large numbers of birds pass through the park during the spring migration season, including the gray-faced buzzard and Chinese goshawk. They join resident birds such as the serpent eagle, crested goshawk, and sparrow hawk.
The park features a large number of tourist sites, each with its own unique attractions; the Datun Nature Park, for example, is characterized by natural resources such as subtropical- and temperate-zone broadleaf forests and volcanic formations. The Menghuan Lake Nature Preserve in the Lengshuikeng area is home to a rare fern, the Taiwan isoetes; this is, in fact, the lowest degree of latitude anywhere in the world where this plant grows. For this reason, it is considered a national treasure. Xiaoyoukeng is filled with volcanic fissures that spew steam from the bowels of the earth, forming clusters of sulfur crystals. Among the most characteristic of the park's other features are hot springs and awesome crumbled terrain.