Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (7): 21475.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021475

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Diversity and composition of bird species in the Hubei Wufeng Houhe National Nature Reserve

Yunrui Ji1,2, Xuelei Wei1, Guofeng Zhang3, Minggui Xiang3, Yongchao Wang3, Renhu Gong3, Yang Hu3, Diqiang Li1,2, Fang Liu1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Ecology and Nature Conservation Institute, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091
    2. Key Laboratory of Biodiversity Conservation, State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100091
    3. Administrative Bureau of the Hubei Wufeng Houhe National Nature Reserve, Yichang, Hubei 443400
  • Received:2021-11-23 Accepted:2022-02-10 Online:2022-07-20 Published:2022-04-06
  • Contact: Fang Liu


Aim: To determine changes in the composition and diversity of bird species in the Hubei Wufeng Houhe National Nature Reserve (HHNR), we established a checklist of bird species through transects, camera-trapping surveys and literature review, and compared it with the previous list obtained from the scientific survey of the HHNR in 1999.
Methods: A total of 82 km transects were set up from 2017 to 2019 in the HHNR. The field surveys were conducted separately around April, June, and October each year. Camera traps were set up at 309 sites and recorded for 99,586 camera days cumulatively. The batteries and memory cards of the camera traps were switched quarterly. For our literature review, we used words such as “Houhe”, “Birds” and “Hubei Province” to search for relevant publications. We also checked the China Bird Watching Record Center ( to obtain bird observation records in HHNR.
Results: There are 255 species of birds found in the HHNR, belonging to 16 orders and 55 families. Two species are listed as Class I national protected animals including Mergus squamatus and Aquila chrysaetos, while 46 species are listed as Class II national protected animals, including Tragopan temminckii, Nettapus coromandelianus, Accipiter virgatus, Strix aluco, Emberiza siemsseni, etc. In addition, a total of 11 Chinese endemic birds were recorded in the HHNR, accounting for 11.83% of endemic birds in China (n = 93). Oriental birds (n = 151 species, 59.22% of all bird species) dominated the avian fauna and were followed by widespread species (55 species; 21.57%) in the HHNR. By comparing with the results of the scientific survey of HHNR in 1999, the diversity of bird species has undergone certain changes. A total of 116 new bird species were recorded, including 15 nationally protected animals. The proportion of Oriental birds in the HHNR had increased. In addition, this survey did not record the Reeves’s pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) and White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus) which were distributed in the HHNR in the last century.
Conclusions: The results indicate that the diversity of wild birds in the HHNR is high, along with high proportions of endangered and endemic animals. This study compared a current bird survey with previous baseline surveys and analyzed the dynamic changes in the HHNR, which can provide a scientific basis for the design of biodiversity monitoring programs and the formulation of protection countermeasures in the reserve.

Key words: dynamic change, endangered species, endemic species, Reeves’s pheasant