Biodiversity Science ›› 1997, Vol. 05 ›› Issue (3): 190-196.doi: 10.17520/biods.1997031

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The status of animal resources and the strategies for sustainable development in western China

Liu Naifa, Chen Qiang   

  1. Department of Biology , Lanzhou University , Lanzhou  730000
  • Received:1996-02-14 Revised:1997-01-30 Online:1997-08-20
  • Chen Qiang

The western China includes Shaanxi,  Ningxia,  Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjing, Xizang and western part of Nei Monggol Autonomous Region. It makes up 46.5% of Chinese territory. The population in this region amounts to 8.33% of all the nation. There are rich animal resources in western China with great spatial heterogeneity in environment. There are 1273 species of terrestrial vertebrates, occupying 52.73% of 2414 species in China. Among them 81 species are amphibian, accounting for 28.52% of that in China, 119 species are reptiles, making up 34.69% of reptiles in China, 781 species are birds, amounting to 62.38% of birds in China and 292 species are mammal, accounting for 53.66% of mammal in China. 259 species, 20.55% of 1273 species , are only distributed in western China. Almost all large ungulates in China are encountered in western China. In western China 174 terrestrial vertebrate species, amounting to 52.25% of 333 species in whole China, are protected by law and 54 species of birds and beasts are endemic species. The animal resources in western China possess high values in economy, scientific researches and have significant ecological benefits. Because of environment destroying and excessive hunting, it has been known that  Equus przewalskii, Saiga tatarica, Panthera tigris and Paradoxornis przewalskii were extinguished in western China. Nipponia nippon has become an extremely endangered species,  Ailuropoda melanoleuca  and Procapra przewalskii  have been on the edge of extreme endangerment. The population density of some economic animals  decreased in western China, for example, Moschus sifanicus and M. berezovskii dropped by 8.97% and 8.44% on average respectively every year (n=12) in Gansu. Cervus elaphus, C.albiostris, Bos grunniens, Asinus spp. Procapra picticaudata, Pseudois nayaur and Gazellia subgutturosa are being hunted by gold diggers in Gansu and Qinhai. On the other hand, population density of some rare animals increased steadily in recent years as a result of protection. For example,Ovis ammon  and Camelus ferus increased by 10.06% and 10.89% respectively on average every year in Gansu.Six strategies for sustainable development of animal resource were suggested  in this paper: (1) strengthen organization and management of reserves; (2) establish protecting fund in each province and autonomous region; (3) protect the habitats of animals; (4) encourage to raise economic animals. (5) conserve rare species through in-situ and ex-situ conservation; (6) artificially enlarge distribution range of rare and economic animals.

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