Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 246-254.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016137

• Special Feature: Biodiversity Monitoring • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Monitoring and research of amphibians and reptiles diversity in key areas of China

Cheng Li1, Feng Xie1, Jing Che2, Jianping Jiang1,*()   

  1. 1 Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
    2 Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223
  • Received:2016-05-16 Accepted:2016-09-02 Online:2017-03-20 Published:2017-04-07
  • Contact: Jiang Jianping


Amphibians and reptiles are important indicator species of ecosystem health, and they are sensitive to environmental changes and are often regarded as critical “early warning systems”. Many of their populations are undergoing rapid decline and therefore a long-term monitoring system is imperative to identify immediate threats to the animals. Monitoring program on Chinese amphibians began in the Zoige wetlands in 1997. Since 2000, a great number of monitoring studies of amphibians and reptiles have been carried out in mountains of Southwest China, Taiwan, and other regions with rich biodiversity. In 2011, the Ministry of Environmental Protection officially launched the “Amphibian Observation Initiative of China” program, which expanded regional programs to country-wide using both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect amphibian biodiversity data across long-term temporal scales. From an ecosystem viewpoint, long-term monitoring studies should include not only species distribution, richness, and population structure, but also population growth, key life-history traits, species interactions (e.g., predation, competition, and mutualism), community structure, and other dynamic factors. The program “Monitoring and Research of Amphibians and Reptiles in Key Areas of China” will cover 22 key areas with rich biodiversity and high habitat heterogeneity across China. As part of the Chinese Biodiversity Monitoring and Research Network (Sino BON), this program aims to combine intensive field surveys and ecological modeling techniques to evaluate population dynamics and community structures of amphibian and reptile species in the study areas.

Key words: monitoring networks, amphibians, reptiles, monitoring variables, monitoring methods, China