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Why is Rhododendron kanehirai wilson valuable?

Rhododendron kanehirai wilson is an endemic of Taiwan. Its population distribution is the least and the narrowest among the 15 Ericaceaes in Taiwan. It was first discovered by Ernest Henry (E.H.) Wilson, a British botanist, in the Peishih creek riverside near Lu-zi lake in 1922. Its only habitat was submerged in water after the initial impounding of Feitsui dam in 1984. It was thought that the Rhododendron kanehirai wilson would disappear forever. Fortunately, it was declared as a precious rare species in August 20, 1988 by the government and after authorities concerned put in 10 years of restoration effort, the Rhododendron kanehirai wilson can once again be seen in the office area of Feitsui Reservoir, Feitsui dam site, and their original habitat. For over 20 years, the Feitsui Reservoir catchment area has been well managed to conserve the rich natural environment, which plays an important role on the reservoir site and in providing a clean and sufficient raw water to Metropolitan Taipei. We believe that we can achieve a balance between human welfare and nature’s prosperity between reservoir’s developments and environmental conservation.