Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (5): 591-600.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015114

Special Issue: 中国自然观察专题

• Special Feature: China Nature Watch • Previous Articles     Next Articles

GAP analysis on national nature reserves in China based on the distribution of endangered species

Cheng Wen1,2,*(), Lei Gu1,2, Hao Wang1,2, Zhi Lü1,2, Ruocheng Hu1, Jia Zhong3   

  1. 1 Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
    3 China Bird Watching Society Networks, Kunming 650224
  • Received:2015-05-06 Accepted:2015-09-20 Online:2015-09-20 Published:2015-10-12
  • Contact: Wen Cheng


We defined all plant and animal species under level-I special state protection, and avian species classified as CR and EN in the IUCN Red List as the most concerned endangered species (MCES). GAP analysis was first applied to national nature reserves (NRs) in China based on the distribution of MCES. Through historical specimen collection data, published research articles on MCES, and bird-watching records, we collected occurrence sites for 96 MCES. We simulated 46 species (with at least 5 known occurrence sites) distributions using a Maxent model and drew scatter diagrams with occurrence sites of 50 other species (with little information). Distribution coverage of each MCES by national NRs was calculated. We defined the geological grid (0.8421º) on which at least 10 MCES would occur as a hotspot for MCES, and the grid on which at least 3 mammals, or 8 birds, or 3 plants of MCES as a hotspot for mammals, birds, and plants of MCES, respectively. The coverage of these hotspots by national NRs was also calculated. We found that there are only 16 MCES with over 10% range covered by national NRs. By 2014, national NRs only covered 8.27% of MCES hotspots, and 10.9%, 1.13%, and 7.26% of mammals, birds and plants MCES hotspots, respectively. The results indicated that there is a significant gap between sufficient coverage of national NRs and MCES distribution and their hotspots in China. The coverage of national NRs for birds, especially long-distance migrants, is exceptionally low, while the greatest gap of NRs occurs in hotspots for MCES in east and south China.

Key words: national nature reserve (national NR), GAP analysis, species distribution simulation