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S. Taiwan park suspends cave exploration applications

Fines for exploring without a permit at Shoushan National Nature Park are up to NT$3,000

(Shoushan National Nature Park administration photo)

(Shoushan National Nature Park administration photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Shoushan National Nature Park administration announced in a press release on Monday (April 27) that applications for cave exploration will be suspended from May 1 to Oct. 31.

The suspension will apply to four caves in the park, the press release stated, adding the decision was made to keep cave explorers out of danger. It would also provide an opportunity for the cave ecosystems to revive, the report added.

The geology of the park is dominated by coral limestone, providing clear evidence of land uplift in Taiwan. The insides of the limestone caves are damper than the outside, and sometimes water accumulates to form pools, which can result in a change of life forms in the environment, the release stated.

The ban therefore, will prevent environmental disturbances inside the caves. It will also eliminate the risk of falls caused by slippery conditions, according to the document.

Applications for cave exploration activities will resume from Nov. 1. During this period, those who flout the law will face a fine of NT$1,500 (US$50) to NT$3,000, as stipulated by the National Park Law, said Hong Qi-yuan (洪啟源), deputy director of the Shoushan National Nature Park administration.

He added that six tickets had been issued since the law was enforced in 2019, per CNA. According to the park administration, a total of 14,459 people have applied for cave exploration in the park since 2019, CNA reported.