Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 774-778.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.05067

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Problems facing wetland nature reserves in China in the new era and recommendations for overcoming them

Xinyi Huang1, Jiakuan Chen2,1,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433
    2 Institute of Watershed Ecology, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031
  • Received:2012-03-01 Accepted:2012-07-11 Online:2012-11-20 Published:2013-01-04
  • Contact: Jiakuan Chen


Over the last 20 years, the amount and area of nature reserves in China have been increasing rapidly under the concept of “rescue protection”. At present, it is urgent that the development of reserves moves into a new era in which effectiveness of protection is focused, and the success of the transformation depends on scientific decision-making and proper management approaches. To achieve scientific decision-making and management, existing problems facing nature reserves need to be ascertained first. Inspired by the article “Protection efficacy of national wetland reserves in China” (Chinese Science Bulletin, 57, 1-24), and based on reviewing available literature and sufficient field surveys, we point out the main four topics facing the development of wetland nature reserves in China. These topics include, dynamic of protected wildlife or ecosystems of every nature reserve and pertinence of management; necessary geographic space for life cycle completion, population maintenance of specific protected species, and the construction of reserve networks; impact of hydrological features changing on wetland ecosystems and corresponding coping strategies; and the interrelationships between wetland conservation and social-economic development and coordinated development patterns. According to the analysis of these problems, we put forth the following recommendations for wetland reserves: (1) the next round of scientific investigation should focus on the dynamic of protected objects, and investigate and formulate targeted management strategies; (2) collaborative management networks at watershed scale should be established in the perspective of spatial distribution of biodiversity and hydrological management; (3) a system of management assessment and tracking of wetland reserves should be constantly improved; (4) fundamental research of wetland reserves and the cooperation between reserves and research institutes should be enhanced; (5) a comprehensive law should be promulgated and legal system should be improved for wetland conservation. Lastly, we suggest that efforts be made in the research field of nature reserves, and thus provide enriched theoretical foundation for scientific decision-making and management of wetland reserves.

Key words: Chinese wetland nature reserves, new era, nature conservation, management of protected area