“We will protect biodiversity and advance the development of the national park-based nature reserve system”, is stated as a national plan in Premier Li Keqiang’s government report. Located at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Reservoir area in China, Chongqing is characterized by a pleasantly moderate climate and an amazing variety of landforms, giving rise to a wealth of wildlife resources. That’s why Chongqing is one of China’s most important regions in terms of biodiversity.
To celebrate the ninth World Wildlife Day, Chongqing Forestry Bureau released a list of wildlife under state priority protection in Chongqing based on the latest investigation and monitoring data on March 3. So far, Chongqing is home to 112 and 84 species of terrestrial wild animals and plants under state priority protection, respectively.
In 2021, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs jointly released the List of Wild Animals under State Priority Conservation and the List of Wild Plants under State Priority Conservation. According to them and based on the latest investigation and monitoring data, Chongqing Forestry Bureau released a new list of wildlife under state priority protection in the city.
As per the list, there are 112 species of terrestrial wild animals under state priority protection in Chongqing, of which 14 are under first-class state protection, and 98 are under second-class state protection; there are 84 species of terrestrial wild plants under state priority protection in Chongqing, of which eight are under first-class state protection, and 76 are under second-class state protection.
Compared with the previous list, the number of species of terrestrial wild animals and plants under state priority protection in Chongqing has increased by 48 and 35, respectively. Among others, Sichuan thuja, a plant species unique to China that was even classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as extinct, grows in Chongqing again and has been upgraded to a wild plant species under first-class state protection.
Over recent years, Chongqing has been maximizing the role of the space-sky-surface integrated monitoring system in strengthening the protection and management of rare and endangered wild animals and plants and their habitats and also worked to clamp down on crimes that may damage wild animal and plant resources. By doing so, Chongqing strives to develop a strong network for protecting local biodiversity.
“This year, we have newly installed more than 50 infrared cameras to strengthen monitoring of wildlife’s surroundings and activities.” According to a head from Wushan County’s Wulipo National Nature Reserve, it is best to monitor wild animals when winter ends, and spring is beginning. Therefore, since the beginning of the new year, the nature reserve has installed more infrared cameras and recovered monitoring data. Currently, more than 160 infrared cameras have been installed in the nature reserve, and a total of more than 500G of video and photo data about dozens of wild animals, including Chinese forest musk deer, black bear, mainland serow, and ocelot, have been collected, of which more than 100G are valid data.
Chongqing is home to 218 nature reserves of different types and at different levels of the nature reserve. With a combined area of about 1,269,000 hectares that accounts for 15.4% of the city’s total area, they protect more than 90% of Chongqing’s rare and endangered wildlife and 90% of the typical subtropical broad-leaved evergreen forest ecosystems.
“Biodiversity affects the well-being of humanity and provides the very basis for the human race to survive and thrive,” said a relevant head from Chongqing Forestry Bureau. Next, the authority will focus on building expansion and reproduction bases for rare and endangered wild plants and shelters for terrestrial wild animals and developing and upgrading germplasm banks to strengthen rare and endangered wildlife protection and habitat restoration and promote recovery and growth of more wildlife populations that are under state priority protection, rare or endangered.
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