Biodiversity Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (5): 504-512.doi: 10.17520/biods.2016349

• Special Feature: Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site • Previous Article     Next Article

The effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve in conserving forests and habitat of Sichuan snub-nosed monkey

Cuiling Wang1, 2, Zhenhua Zang1, Yue Qiu1, 2, Shuyu Deng1, 2, Zhaoyang Feng3, Zongqiang Xie1, Wenting Xu1, Lei Liu4, Quansheng Chen1, Guozhen Shen1, *()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Regional Eco-process and Function Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
    4 Tianjin TEDA Institute of Landscape Planning Design, Tianjin 300457
  • Received:2016-12-11 Accepted:2017-02-20 Online:2017-06-06
  • Shen Guozhen

Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation. Although the network of global protected areas has expanded substantially over the last few decades, many protected areas are not effective and the use of protected areas as a conservation tool has been criticized due to its inefficiency. Understanding which institutional conditions of protected areas are effective is therefore a key research priority. Shennongjia National Nature Reserve offers a fascinating case to investigate the effectiveness of protected areas in China. This reserve is exceptionally important for conservation as it harbors the remaining subtropical mixed broadleaved evergreen and deciduous forests in the northern hemisphere, numerous endemic and endangered species, and viable populations of the snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis). From an institutional perspective, Shennongjia Nature Reserve experienced a heavily exploited deforestation period and forest cover rebounded since the establishment of the reserve and the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP). We assessed the effectiveness of the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in conserving forests and habitat of the snub-nosed monkey based on landuse datasets of 1980, 1990, 2010 and 2015, respectively; combining DEM, distribution and behavioral characteristics of the snub-nosed monkey, and constructing the criterion of the survival function of the snub-nosed monkey and metapopulation capacity. Results showed that the forest area increased by 34.27% and forest coverage increased 16.42%, of which 82.77% of the newly gained forest recovered from shrubs and sparse forests since the establishment of the reserve. The area of the most suitable habitat for the snub-nosed monkey increased 17.70%, and metapopulation capacity of the habitat increased 515.17%. Furthermore, since the implementation of NFCP and SLCP, the forest area and forest coverage increased 23.24% and 12.77%, respectively, the most suitable habitat area for the snub-nosed monkey increased 14.29%, and the metapopulation capacity increased 367.20%. Our results indicate that the Shennongjia Nature Reserve is efficient for forest conservation and snub-nosed monkey habitat provision.

Key words: nature reserve, conservation effectiveness, Shennongjia, snub-nosed monkey habitat, metapopulation capacity

Fig. 1

Dsitribution of villages and Sichuan snub-nosed monkey in the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve"

Table 1

Indicators for assessing habitat suitability of Sichuan snub-nosed monkey"

最适宜 Most suitable 适宜 Suitable 不适宜 Unsuitable 权重 Weight
非生物因子 Abiotic factors
海拔 Elevation (m) 2,000-2,400 2,400-2,600 ≥2,600, <2,000 0.032
坡度 Slope 30°-45° ≥45° <30° 0.081
坡向 Aspect 半阴半阳坡 Semi-shady slope 阳坡 Sunny slope 阴坡 Shady slope 0.01
生物因子 Biotic factors
植被 Vegetation 有林地 Forest land 其他林地 Other forest 其他 Others 0.557
人类活动因子 Human activities
距道路的距离 Distance from road (m) ≥1,000 500-1,000 <500 0.08
距村庄的距离 Distance from villages (m) ≥1,000 500-1,000 <500 0.24

Fig. 2

Dispersal distance function for Sichuan snub-nosed monkey"

Fig. 3

Change of the area and the coverage of the forests in the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve"

Fig. 4

The driving factors of the forest coverage gain (A) and loss (B) in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve"

Fig. 5

The area of suitable habitats for Sichuan snub-nosed monkey in the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve since establishment. λM is metapopulation capacity."

[1] Andam KS, Ferraro PJ, Pfaff A, Sanchez-Azofeifa GA, Robalino JA (2008) Measuring the effectiveness of protected area networks in reducing deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 16089-16094.
[2] Bowker JN, Vos A, Ament JM, Cumming GS (2017) Effectiveness of Africa’s tropical protected areas for maintaining forest cover. Conservation Biology, 31, 559-569.
[3] Butchart SHM, Clarke M, Smith RJ, Sykes RE, Scharlemann JPW, Harfoot M, Buchanan GM, Angulo A, Balmford A, Bertzky B (2015) Shortfalls and solutions for meeting national and global conservation area targets. Conservation Letters, 8, 329-337.
[4] Cao M, Peng L, Liu S (2015) Analysis of the network of protected areas in China based on a geographic perspective: current status, issues and integration. Sustainability, 7, 15617-15631.
[5] Carranza T, Balmford A, Kapos V, Manica A (2014) Protected area effectiveness in reducing conversion in a rapidly vanishing ecosystem: the Brazilian Cerrado. Conservation Letters, 7, 216-223.
[6] Chapin FS III, Zavaleta ES, Eviner VT, Naylor RL, Vitousek PM, Reynolds HL, Hooper DU, Lavorel S, Sala OE, Hobbie SE (2000) Consequences of changing biodiversity. Nature, 405, 234-242.
[7] Chen YH, Zhang J, Jiang JP, Nielsen SE, He FL (2017) Assessing the effectiveness of China’s protected areas to conserve current and future amphibian diversity. Diversity and Distributions, 23, 146-157.
[8] Eklund J, Blanchet FG, Nyman J, Rocha R, Virtanen T, Cabeza M (2016) Contrasting spatial and temporal trends of protected area effectiveness in mitigating deforestation in Madagascar. Biological Conservation, 203, 290-297.
[9] Gaston KJ, Jackson SF, Cantú-Salazar L, Cruz-Piñón G (2008) The ecological performance of protected areas. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 39, 93-113.
[10] Ge JW, Wang XG (2013) Nature Reserve of Hubei Province. Hubei Science and Technology Press, Wuhan. (in Chinese)
[葛继稳, 王虚谷 (2013) 湖北自然保护区. 湖北科学技术出版社, 武汉.]
[11] Geldmann J, Joppa LN, Burgess ND (2014) Mapping change in human pressure globally on land and within protected areas. Conservation Biology, 28, 1604-1616.
[12] Hanski I, Ovaskainen O (2000) The metapopulation capacity of a fragmented landscape. Nature, 404, 755-758.
[13] Hanski I, Ovaskainen O (2002) Extinction debt at extinction threshold. Conservation Biology, 16, 666-673.
[14] Hill R, Miller C, Newell B, Dunlop M, Gordon IJ (2015) Why biodiversity declines as protected areas increase: the effect of the power of governance regimes on sustainable landscapes. Sustainability Science, 10, 357-369.
[15] Editorial Committee of Hubei Shennongjia Forestry District Local Chronicles(1996) Shennongjia Chronicles. Hubei Science and Technology Press, Wuhan. (in Chinese)
[湖北省神农架林区地方志编纂委员会(1996) 神农架志 . 湖北科学技术出版社, 武汉.]
[16] Jenkins C, Van Houtan K, Pimm S, Sexton J (2015) US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 112, 5081-5086.
[17] Joppa LN, Loarie SR, Pimm SL (2008) On the protection of “protected areas”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 6673-6678.
[18] Joppa LN, Pfaff A (2009) High and far: biases in the location of protected areas. PLoS ONE, 4, e8273.
[19] Joppa LN, Pfaff A (2010) Global protected area impacts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278, 1633-1638.
[20] Juffe-Bignoli D, Burgess ND, Bingham H, Belle EMS, de Lima MG, Deguignet M, Bertzky B, Milam AN, Martinez-Lopez J, Lewis E (2014) Protected Planet Report 2014. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK.
[21] Li BG, Chen C, Ji WH, Ren BP (2001) Seasonal home range changes of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in the Qinling Mountains of China. Folia Primatologica, 71, 375-386.
[22] Li YM (2007) Terrestriality and tree stratum use in a group of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys. Primates, 48, 197-207.
[23] Mascia MB, Pailler S (2011) Protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) and its conservation implications. Conservation Letters, 4, 9-20.
[24] McGuire JL, Lawler JJ, McRae BH, Nuñez TA, Theobald DM (2016) Achieving climate connectivity in a fragmented landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 113, 7195-7200.
[25] Nolte C, Agrawal A, Silvius KM, Soares-Filho BS (2013) Governance regime and location influence avoided deforestation success of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 110, 4956-4961.
[26] Nori J, Torres R, Lescano JN, Cordier JM, Periago ME, Baldo D (2016) Protected areas and spatial conservation priorities for endemic vertebrates of the Gran Chaco, one of the most threatened ecoregions of the world. Diversity and Distributions, 22, 1212-1219.
[27] Ouyang ZY, Zheng H, Xiao Y, Polasky S, Liu JG, Xu WH, Wang Q, Zhang L, Xiao Y, Rao EM (2016) Improvements in ecosystem services from investments in natural capital. Science, 352, 1455-1459.
[28] Pimm SL, Brown JH (2004) Domains of diversity. Science, 304, 831-833.
[29] Pounds JA, Fogden MPL, Campbell JH (1999) Biological response to climate change on a tropical mountain. Nature, 398, 611-615.
[30] Pouzols FM, Toivonen T, Di ME, Kukkala AS, Kullberg P, Kuusterä J, Lehtomäki J, Tenkanen H, Verburg PH, Moilanen A (2014) Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected landuse and parochialism. Nature, 516, 383-386.
[31] Ren GP, Young SS, Wang L, Wang W, Long YC, Wu RD, Li JS, Zhu JG, Yu DW (2015) Effectiveness of China’s national forest protection program and nature reserves. Conservation Biology, 29, 1368-1377.
[32] Ren RM, Yan KH, Su YJ, Li JJ, Zhou Y (2000) Society of Rhinopithecus roxellanae. Peking University Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[任仁眉, 严康慧, 苏彦捷, 李进军, 周茵 (2000) 金丝猴的社会. 北京大学出版社, 北京.]
[33] Rodrigues AL, Andelman SJ, Bakarr MI, Boitani L, Brooks TM, Cowling RM, Fishpool LDC, Da Fonseca GAB, Gaston KJ, Hoffmann M (2004) Effectiveness of the global protected area network in representing species diversity. Nature, 428, 640-643.
[34] Saaty TL (1977) A scaling method for priorities in hierarchical structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 15, 234-281.
[35] Sandberger-Loua L, Doumbia J, Rödel MO (2016) Conserving the unique to save the diverse-identifying key environmental determinants for the persistence of the viviparous Nimba toad in a West African World Heritage Site. Biological Conservation, 198, 15-21.
[36] Scherer L, Curran M, Alvarez M (2017) Expanding Kenya’s protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity to maximize coverage of plant diversity. Conservation Biology, 31, 302-310.
[37] Schnell JK, Harris GM, Pimm SL, Russell GJ (2013) Estimating extinction risk with metapopulation models of large-scale fragmentation. Conservation Biology, 27, 520-530.
[38] Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2014) Global Biodiversity Outlook 4. Montreal, Canada.
[39] Shen GZ, Feng CY, Xie ZQ, Ouyang ZY, Li JQ, Pascal M (2008) Proposed conservation landscape for giant pandas in the Minshan Mountains, China. Conservation Biology, 22, 1144-1153.
[40] Shen GZ, Pimm SL, Feng CY, Ren GF, Liu YP, Xu WT, Li JQ, Si XF, Xie ZQ (2015) Climate change challenges the current conservation strategy for the giant panda. Biological Conservation, 190, 43-50.
[41] Thomas CD, Cameron A, Green RE, Bakkenes M, Beaumont LJ, Collingham YC, Erasmus BFN, De Siqueira MF, Grainger A, Hannah L (2004) Extinction risk from climate change. Nature, 427, 145-148.
[42] Tie J (2013) The Plant Composition in the Habitat and Food resources of Rhinopithecus roxellana in Shennongjia, China. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[铁军 (2013) 神农架川金丝猴栖息地植物特性和食源植物. 中国林业出版社, 北京.]
[43] Van Houtan KS, Pimm SL, Halley JM, Bierregaard RO, Lovejoy TE (2007) Dispersal of Amazonian birds in continuous and fragmented forest. Ecology Letters, 10, 219-229.
[44] Wang H, Lü Z, Gu L, Wen C (2015) Observations of China’s forest change (2000-2013) based on Global Forest Watch dataset. Biodiversity Science, 23, 575-582. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[王昊, 吕植, 顾垒, 闻丞 (2015) 基于Global Forest Watch观察2000-2013年间中国森林变化. 生物多样性, 23, 575-582.]
[45] Watson JM, Dudley N, Segan DB, Hockings M (2014) The performance and potential of protected areas. Nature, 515, 67-73.
[46] Wu RD, Zhang S, Yu DW, Zhao P, Li XH, Wang LZ, Yu Q, Ma J, Chen A, Long YC (2011) Effectiveness of China’s nature reserves in representing ecological diversity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9, 383-389.
[47] Xiang ZF, Yu Y, Yang M, Yang JY, Liao MY, Li M (2011) Does flagship species tourism benefit conservation? A case study of the golden snub-nosed monkey in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve. Chinese Science Bulletin, 56, 1784-1789. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[向左甫, 禹洋, 杨鹛, 杨敬元, 廖明尧, 李明 (2011) 神农架保护区的川金丝猴旗舰物种生态旅游有利于自然保护吗? 科学通报, 56, 1784-1789.]
[48] Xie ZQ, Shen GZ, Zhou YB, Fan DY, Xu WT, Gao XM, Du YJ, Xiong GM, Zhao CM, Zhu Y, Lai JS (2017) The outstanding universal value and conservation of Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site. Biodiversity Science, 25, 490-497. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[谢宗强, 申国珍, 周友兵, 樊大勇, 徐文婷, 高贤明, 杜彦君, 熊高明, 赵常明, 祝燕, 赖江山 (2017) 神农架世界自然遗产地的全球突出普遍价值及其保护. 生物多样性, 25, 490-497.]
[49] Xu WH, Ouyang ZY, Viña A, Zheng H, Liu JG, Xiao Y (2006) Designing a conservation plan for protecting the habitat for giant pandas in the Qionglai Mountain range, China. Diversity and Distributions, 12, 610-619.
[50] Zhang PC, Shao GF, Zhao G, Le MDC, Parker GR, Dunning JB, Li QL (2000) China’s forest policy for the 21st century. Science, 288, 2135-2136.
[51] Zhu ZQ, Song ZS (1999) Scientific Survey of Shennongjia Nature Reserve. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[朱兆泉, 宋朝枢 (1999) 神农架自然保护区科学考察集. 中国林业出版社, 北京.]
[1] Zhang Mingming,Yang Zhaohui,Wang Cheng,Wang Jiaojiao,Hu Canshi,Lei Xiaoping,Shi Lei,Su Haijun,Li Jiaqi. (2019) Camera-trapping survey on mammals and birds in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(7): 813-818.
[2] Mu Jun, Wang Jiaojiao, Zhang Lei, Li Yunbo, Li Zhumei, Su Haijun. (2019) Field monitoring using infrared cameras and activity rhythm analysis on mammals and birds in Xishui National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(6): 683-688.
[3] Wang Yuan, Li Sheng, Liu Wulin, Zhu Xuelin, Li Bingzhang. (2019) Coat pattern variation and activity rhythm of Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve of Tibet, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(6): 638-647.
[4] Xiao Zhishu,Chen Lijun,Song Xiangjin,Shu Zufei,Xiao Ronggao,Huang Xiaoqun. (2019) Species inventory and assessment of large- and medium-size mammals and pheasants using camera trapping in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province . Biodiv Sci, 27(3): 237-242.
[5] Chen Lijun,Shu Zufei,Xiao Zhishu. (2019) Application of camera-trapping data to study daily activity patterns of Galliformes in Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve . Biodiv Sci, 27(3): 266-272.
[6] Chen Qiangqiang, Li Meiling, Wang Xu, Mueen Qamer Faisal, Wang Peng, Yang Jianwei, Wang Muyang, Yang Weikang. (2019) Identification of potential ecological corridors for Marco Polo sheep in Taxkorgan Wildlife Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(2): 186-199.
[7] Chen Huijun, Du Hu, Song Tongqing, Peng Wanxia, Zhang Hao, Su Liang, Zeng Fuping. (2019) Numerical classification of associations and their stabilities of karst evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests in Mulun National Nature Reserve . Biodiv Sci, 27(10): 1056-1068.
[8] Wang Cheng, Zhou Daqing, Liang Sheng, Su Haijun, Hu Canshi, Zhang Mingming. (2019) Camera-trapping survey on mammals and birds in Guizhou Chishui Alsophila National Nature Reserve . Biodiv Sci, 27(10): 1147-1152.
[9] Zejin Zhang,Yanpei Guo,Jin-Sheng He,Zhiyao Tang. (2018) Conservation status of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations in China . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 572-577.
[10] Xuemeng Hong,Xinyu Ge,Junlan Li. (2018) Butterfly diversity and its influencing factors in Saihanwula Nature Reserve . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 590-600.
[11] Kaida Xu,Kaner Lu,Zhanhui Lu,Qian Dai. (2018) Ecological niche analysis of dominant shrimp species in the Jiushan Islands Marine Nature Reserve . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 601-610.
[12] Cheng Tian,Junqing Li,Xuyu Yang,Lin Yu,Dan Yuan,Yunxi Li. (2018) Preliminary surveys of wild animals using infrared camera in Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 620-626.
[13] Hou Qinxi, Ci Xiuqin, Liu Zhifang, Xu Wumei, Li Jie. (2018) Assessment of the evolutionary history of Lauraceae in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve using DNA barcoding . Biodiv Sci, 26(3): 217-228.
[14] Ruiling Song,Jinxian Yao,Kaiyue Wu,Xiaochuan Zhang,Zhi Lü,Zhengguang Zhu,Lijie Yin. (2018) Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine protected areas: Methodologies and progress . Biodiv Sci, 26(3): 286-294.
[15] Ruiling Song,Hao Wang,Di Zhang,Zhi Lü,Ziyun Zhu,Lu Zhang,Yanlin Liu,gongbao Caiwen,Lan Wu. (2018) Conservation outcomes assessment of Sanjiangyuan alpine grassland with MODIS-EVI approach . Biodiv Sci, 26(2): 149-157.
Full text