Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 202-209.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017305

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

From nature reserve to national park system pilot: Changes of environmental coverage in the Three-River-Source National Park and implications for amphibian and reptile conservation

Huijie Qiao1, Xiaoyi Wang2, Wei Wang3, Zhenhua Luo4, Ke Tang2, Yan Huang2,5, Shengnan Yang2,5, Weiwei Cao6, Xinquan Zhao2,7, Jianping Jiang2, Junhua Hu2,*   

  1. 1 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
    3 Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
    4 School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079
    5 School of Life Sciences, China West Normal University, Nanchong, Sichuan 637009
    6 College of Control Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027
    7 Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008
  • Received:2017-11-14 Accepted:2018-02-14 Online:2018-04-02 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Hu Junhua
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    # Co-first authors

Abstract:

The Three-River-Source (TRS) region, which harbors an evolutionarily unique and impressively large portion of plateau biodiversity, is an important national ecological security shelter zone. Acting as the first system pilot in China, the TRS National Park will be turned into both the exhibition of nature conservation and a heritage area of ecological culture on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. To better contribute to the construction of the TRS National Park, we compared the TRS National Park with the TRS and Kekexili Nature Reserves with respect to elevation, annual mean temperature and annual precipitation. By combining the environmental conditions of the occurrences of four species of amphibians and reptiles (i.e., Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei, Scutiger boulengeri, and Phrynocephalus vlangalii) both inside and outside the national park, we explored potential opportunities and challenges for the conservation of poor-dispersal-ability species (including amphibians and reptiles) during construction of the TRS National Park. While the national park and the nature reserves had large overlap in geographical space, the environmental conditions were different between them. The preferred environmental conditions of the four species were mostly not included in the TRS National Park, but were included in the nature reserves. Given the unique geographical location of the TRS region and its sensitivity to climate change, the effective protection of amphibians and reptiles in this region will not only contribute to maintaining genetic diversity of species and the integrality of regional ecosystems, but also will help to achieve the goal of the TRS National Park and assist with the construction of ecological civilization. Thus, within the TRS National Park, to strengthen basic biological research, it is important to conduct long-term monitoring studies of population dynamics and community structure. Based on this, the potential effects of environmental changes on the distribution, genetic diversity, behavior, morphological traits, population dynamics and community of amphibians and reptiles could be understood, with the aim of achieving their sustainable survival within the TRS National Park in the face of global change.

Key words: national park, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Three-River-Source, annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, climate change, long-term monitoring, biodiversity conservation