Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 610-615.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.06045

Special Issue: 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Herpetofauna of Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve in Tibet, China

Hujun Pan1,2, Daode Yang1, Haihua Qin2, Liang Zhang2, Ke Jiang3, Huijian Hu2,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Wildlife Conservation, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, Changsha 410004
    2 South China Institute of Endangered Animals, Guangzhou 510260
    3 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223
  • Received:2013-02-20 Accepted:2013-06-14 Online:2013-09-20 Published:2013-10-08
  • Contact: Hu Huijian


The Qomolangma National Nature Reserve (QNNR) in Tibet, China, is the highest nature reserve in the world and is characterized by a wide range in altitude. The QNNR was established to protect its vegetation, unique alpine ecosystem, and overall abundant biodiversity. Amphibians and reptiles are important components of its biodiversity, but are poorly understood. Thus, we surveyed amphibians and reptiles in the QNNR on 5 occasions between October 2010 and October 2012. This survey revealed 9 amphibian species, which belong to 6 genera, 3 families, and 1 order. All of these species belong to the Oriental Realm. We also recorded 11 reptile species belonging to 10 genera, 4 families, and 1 order. Among these species, 8 belong to the Oriental Realm and 3 to the Palearctic Realm. According to our records, the herptofauna of the QNNR is characterized by both endemic amphibian and reptile species with 2 endemic species and 6 quasi-endemic species in China. The estimated species richness of amphibians and reptiles in the reserve is likely to increase with further survey, especially along the southern slope of the Himalayas. A sharp dividing line between the Palearctic region and Oriental region in the QNNR occurs between 3,600-3,800 m a.s.l. with no transition zone.

Key words: Herptofauna, species diversity, Qomolangma National Nature Reserve