Species There were about 6,266 vertebrate species in China, accounting for 10% of the
world's total. Among them, over 2400 are terrestrial wild animals. China had over 30,000 higher plants species and ranked the third in the world second to only Malaysia and Brazil. Among the above-mentioned wild fauna and flora, several hundreds of rare and endangered species are exclusive in China such as giant panda, red ibis, golden monkey, South China tiger, Chinese alligator, metasequoia,
silver fir, Abies Beshanzuensis and Emmenopterys Henryi Oliv.
Current Situation and the Change of Endangered Species
According to the findings of the survey on terrestrial wild fauna resources and the survey on key protected wild flora resources, the population of some wild plant and animal species maintained stable level with some increase, and their habitats were improving gradually. Among them, 55.7% were national key protected species. To be more specific, the population of some rare and endangered species such as Chinese alligator, red ibis and Hainan
Eld's deer increased by several times and the population of giant panda grew by 40%. Among the 189 national key protected wild plants under survey, 71% met the standard of stable survival in terms of wild population. The distribution area of some species was expanding gradually. For example, new records, breeding spots and winter-habitat of such species as black-beaked gull, black-faced spoonbill and brown-eared pheasant were found one after another. The number of habitat counties of wild giant panda increased by 11 making the total of 45 compared with the last survey findings. The habitat area of giant pandas rose by 65.6%. Another plant species that had disappeared for over a centaury and listed as a critically endangered species by IUCN, namely the
Thuja sutchecenensis reappeared in the Daba Mountain Area of Chongqing Municipality. New habitats were also found for species like an endemic tung tree,
Pseudotaxus chienii, Tsoongiodendron odorum Chun, etc.
However, due to damage and over-exploitation of their habitats, the population diminishing trend of some non-national key protected wild plant and animal species
hadn't been altered, especially for those of high economic values. Some species were still in the critically endangered status, and some single-species communities were facing the risk of extinction. Since some single-species communities such as red ibis, Guizhou golden monkey, Mangshan viper, crocodile lizard, Hainan gibbon,
Procapra przewalskii, beaver, Carpinus Putoensis Cheng and
Abies beshanzuensis were of small population with very limited distribution, they would probably extinct once encountering natural disasters or other threats.
Wetland According to national wetland resources survey, China has 38,485,500 ha of wetland (excluding paddy fields) at present. China ranked the first in Asia and the fourth in the world in terms of wetland area, and all types of wetlands worldwide can be found in China. Among them, 36,200,500 ha were natural wetlands, accounting for 94% of the total; and the rest 6% were 2,285,000 million ha of reservoirs and ponds. Among the natural wetlands, 13,700,300 ha were marsh swamps, 5,941,700 ha were coastal wetlands, 8,207,000 million ha were river wetlands and 8,351,600 million ha were lake and pond wetlands. These wetlands were the habitat of 2276 species of higher plants, 724 species of wild animals including 271 waterfowls, 300 amphibians, 122 reptiles and 31 beasts. There were altogether 376 national key wetlands across the country, covering an area of 15,029,300 ha.
The findings also showed that presently, 16 million ha natural wetlands (almost 40% of the total) across China had already been incorporated into 353 protected areas and were under sound protection.
【Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity】 The Chinese delegation participated the COP7 of the Convention on Biological Diversity from February 9th to 20th of 2004 as well as the COP1 of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity from February 23rd to 27th in 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
【Development of Nature Reserves】 China had established 2,194 nature reserves of different types and levels by the end of 2004, covering a total area of 148.226 million ha (including 142.226 million ha of land area and 6 million ha of sea waters). The area of land nature reserves accounted for about 14.8% of the total territory. Among all the nature reserves, 226 were national nature reserves covering the area of 88.713 million ha, accounting for 10.3% of the total number and 59.9% of the total area of national nature reserves. The number of nature reserves rose by 195 and the total area increased by 4.245 million ha compared with that of the previous year.
【Wetland Protection】 In the year 2004, China tremendously intensified the basic work of wetland protection. The General Office of the State Council issued the
Circular on Intensifying the Management of Wetland Protection and convened the National Working Meeting on the Management of Wetland Protection. Some provinces such as Heilongjiang, Gansu and Jiangxi have developed their local wetland protection laws.
The National Implementation Plan on Wetland Protection has been basically completed. Based on it, nine relevant departments jointly developed the
National Implementation Plan for Wetland Protection (2005~2010), which stipulates that 50% of Chinese wetlands shall be under effective protection. The Chinese authority has earnestly fulfilling its commitment to the
"Ramsar Convention on Wetlands". Meanwhile, it has applied for another 9 key wetlands in 4 provinces and Autonomous Regions of Liaoning, Yunnan, Tibet and Qinghai as important international wetlands. Up to now, there have been 30 important international key wetlands in China covering an area of 3.46 million ha.