Biodiv Sci ›› 2006, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (2): 87-97.DOI: 10.1360/biodiv.050232

• Editorial •     Next Articles

Setting biodiversity conservation priorities in the Forests of the Upper Yangtze Ecoregion based on ecoregion conservation methodology

Bo Wu1*, Chunquan Zhu 2, Diqiang Li 3, Ke Dong2, Xiulei Wang3, Peili Shi4   

  1. 1 Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry; Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100091
    2 China Programme Office, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Beijing 100006
    3 Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091
    4 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2005-11-07 Revised:2006-02-19 Online:2006-03-20 Published:2006-03-20
  • Contact: Bo Wu

Abstract: One hundred and ten specialists who are engaged in biodiversity conservation participated in a 4-phase participatory study to determine indicator species and biodiversity priority areas for mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, insects, fungi, and vascular plants for the Forests of the Upper Yangtze (FUY) Eco-region. Based on ecoregion conservation methodology, 16 priority areas were identified. Of these, Qinling Mountains, Daba Mountains, Jinfo–Fanjing–Wulingyuan area, Minshan Mountains, Qionglai–Daxiangling Mountains, Gongga Mountains, and Three Parallel Rivers area are among the list of the highest priority ar-eas, while Funiu Mountains, Micang Mountains, Zoige Plateau, Liangshan Mountains, Panzhihua–Xichang area, Zhongdian–Muli area, northwestern Sichuan Plateau, Upper Jinsha River Basin Alps-Ravines, and Nu-jiang–Lancang River Basin Alps-Ravines have high priority. At present, the distribution of nature reserves does not match the priority areas and linkages. Nature reserves cover a tiny proportion, or even none, of the priority areas or linkages; some are disturbed by intense human activities and are consequently severely frag-mented. It is proposed here that existing nature reserves should be adjusted and new ones established to fill conservation gaps. In conjunction with national eco-construction programmes and biodiversity conservation actions, natural forests should be strictly protected, degraded vegetation should be effectively rehabilitated, and human economic activities should be strictly controlled to enhance the functions of the conservation priority areas and their linkages.