Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 1097-1107.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020229

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis on the hotspot and conservation gaps of bird biodiversity in Guangdong Province based on MaxEnt model

Xing Ma1#, Hao Wang1#, Wei Yu3,1, Yong Du1, Jianchao Liang2,*(), Huijian Hu2,*(), Shengrong Qiu4, Lu Liu4   

  1. 1 Urban and Rural Institution in Guangdong, Guangzhou 510290
    2 Institute of Zoology, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangzhou 510260
    3 School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
    4 Survey & Planning Institute of State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100714
  • Received:2021-02-07 Accepted:2021-04-15 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-06-12
  • Contact: Jianchao Liang,Huijian Hu
  • About author:First author contact:

    # Co-first authors


Aims: With the increasingly prominent environmental problems, biodiversity is at risk. While the rich soil and water resources in Guangdong Province, China, have given rise to a large number of species, the rapid urban expansion of the Pearl River Delta has challenged protecting biodiversity. Our goal in this study was to evaluate biodiversity conservation in Guangdong Province to better inform future urban planning so that is compatible with the protection of biodiversity and minimizes conflict between development and conservation.

Methods: We used bird spatial distribution data from the second terrestrial wildlife resources survey in China to create habitat suitability models using MaxEnt at high spatial resolution (100 m × 100 m). We then identified protection gaps by determining the locations of biodiversity hotspots that we compared to the ecological red line, permanent basic farmland and urban development boundary in existing urban plans.

Results: We recorded 173 species of birds belonging to 45 families and 13 orders in Guangdong Province. Regions with high species richness were mainly distributed in three areas: Nanling, Eastern Guangdong, and Jiangmen-Yangjiang-Yunfu. The environmental factors affecting the bird richness patterns significantly differed among species. In general, land use, altitude, and annual average temperature difference were dominant factors. The spatial locations of hotspots of protected birds were similar to those of all birds, with a spatial overlap rate of 63.0%. The overlap was mainly distributed in Nanling and Eastern Guangdong. By contrast, we found large apparent differences between hotspot locations of resident and migratory birds, which overlapped by only 25.3%. Most resident birds were distributed relatively close to the north, while most migratory birds tended towards the south. The overlap of hotspots with permanent basic farmland was significantly higher than the ecological red line. Only a small portion of the hotspots were distributed within the urban development boundary. Altogether, we found obvious protection gaps for all groups of birds we considered.

Conclusions: Our high-resolution bird richness maps enabled a critical evaluation of where biodiversity hotspots conflict with urban developments. Our results provide urgent support for the implementation of biodiversity zoning protection and the development of management policies within the three control lines of the urban development boundary, permanent basic farmland, and ecological red line. Ultimately, our results provide a useful reference and roadmap for biodiversity protection and ecological planning adjustment in Guangdong Province.

Key words: Guangdong Province, bird diversity, MaxEnt model, hotspot, conservation vacancies, ecological red line, resident birds, migratory birds