Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (1): 0-0.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020171


How to well preserve the irreplaceable habitats for those threatened birds in Beijing?

Yue Huang1,Yiyun Gu2,Wenrui Yang3,Cheng Wen2,4   

  1. 1. College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University
    2. Beijing Jinglang Ecological Technology Ltd.
    3. Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design
    4. School of Life Sciences, Peking University
  • Received:2020-04-26 Revised:2020-09-01 Online:2021-01-20 Published:2020-11-03
  • Contact: Cheng Wen

Abstract: To practice biodiversity protection in highly populated metropolises is doubtlessly playing an important role in the effort of global biodiversity conservation. The metropolitan Beijing is such a big city both for the human population and biodiversity clusters it sustained. In metropolitan Beijing, three categories, representing different level of conservation management, have so far been administratively delimited, that is, the nature reserves, the ecological red line, and the construction control line-which, as a hole, represents for the potential areas for conservation (PAC). In this study, 30 recently recorded threatened bird species were selected as the bio-indicators to explore the coverage of those species’ current habitats by the existing PAC. Based on each selected species’ habitat preferences, we calculated the species distribution models, combined with the land use and land cover map, the potential distribution map for each species was generated. Then, by overlaying those maps, the global distribution pattern in Beijing for our selected threatened bird species was obtained, enabled us to calculate the species richness at any interested sites within our study area. Finally, based on the species richness map of those threatened bird species, we ranked all habitats as four grades (with the most important habitat being grade Ⅰ) based on the number of endangered species sustained by them, also, urban, rural, and natural areas were classified based on the intensity of urban land use and human activities, which enabled us to calculate the coverage of our ranked key habitats and different urbanization gradient by each of the three types of PAC. The results showed that: 1) 95.64% of grade Ⅰ and 86.32% of grade Ⅱ habitats are within the rural areas, whereas merely 0.69% of the rural areas is covered by nature reserves and 15.15% by the ecological redline; 2) The defined key habitats ranked as grade Ⅰ and Ⅱ but not yet under the umbrella of either the nature reserves or the ecological redline are mainly wetlands (waterbodies and marshlands), high coverage grasslands and farmlands, as well as some large–scale green patches in urban area with large waterbodies. Based on the above results, suggestions for conservation practice were offered as: 1) to preserve the wetlands and the high coverage grasslands surrounding the urban cores efficiently; 2) to maintain the scale of basic farmland and food crop planting on them; 3) to bring all the waterbodies, marshlands, and high coverage grasslands alongside rivers into the ecological redline area; 4) to delimit biodiversity conservation zones in large urban greenspaces such as major urban parks; 5) to optimize the structure of woodland communities in rural and urban areas to satisfy the habitat needs of some specialist species. We believe that such conservation practices will provide citizens of Beijing with a more diverse avian communities, and the effort could be a good case for biodiversity conservation in other major cities of China to follow.

Key words: Habitats of threatened birds, Biodiversity conservation, Potential areas for conservation, Rural habitat, Wetland, Urban green spaces, Metropolitan Beijing