The exceptional ecosystem of the park in Zhejiang

In the east of this Chinese province, visitors can expect encounters with rare and endangered species.

Serou (antelope family) from China drinks clean water from a stream, a leopard wanders the mountain at night, an Asian black bear wanders through the woods in broad daylight, and an eagle says, “ serpentine bacha cuts the air with its wings across the sky. These are some of the most common scenes in the Qianjiang Yuan National Park.

The first of these two areas, in northwestern Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province, covers 252 square kilometers, including three reservations, four cities and 21 administrative villages. It was one of the first ten national parks established in 2016 to protect China’s environment.

Qiantang, considered the mother of rivers in Zhejiang, originates in Qianjiang. This park still has a large area of ‚Äč‚Äčlocal deciduous evergreen plants, typical of the lowlands in the middle subtropical regions and increasingly rare in other parts of the world. There are 61 endangered rare species, 14 of which are native to China, as well as a diverse bird community of more than half of the bird species recorded in Zhejiang.

A black muntzak filmed by an infrared camera in Zhejiang National Park. AVAILABLE IN CHINA DAILY

An ecosystem of this magnitude is unique in the world, said Fu Boe, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Qianjiang Yuan is also home to rare endangered species, including native animals such as the black muntzak, which Wei Fuwen, another member of the Academy of Sciences, says can be compared to a giant panda. Worldwide, about 10% of black deer, which belong to the deer family, live in Qianjian.

A few hundred kilometers to the south is part of Baishanzu Park. Located in Qingyuan County, attached to the prefecture city of Lishui, it is named after the highest mountain in the region and covers 505 square kilometers.

Like Qianjiangyuan, Baishanzu is also a natural habitat for rare and endangered species. Visitors can see the rarest coniferous tree in the world, the Baishanza pine or Abies beshanzuensis “There are only three of these trees in the reserve, which have been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The richness of the national park’s ecosystem has made it the center of research for both Chinese and foreign scientists who have set up biodiversity monitoring platforms, research stations and climate change monitoring centers. In June 2020, a new species of frog was discovered in Baishanga during a biodiversity study; this horned frog was aptly named ” Megophrys baishanzuensis “.

Partial aerial view of Qianjiang Yuan Baishanzu National Park. XINHUA

Research programs also support China’s recent efforts to protect wildlife and its habitat. At the end of May 2019, scientists from Zhejiang University returned three artificially grown Baishanzu pine seedlings to their natural habitat; A year has passed since they grew the first seedlings of this pine by embryonic technology.

Further work is being done to develop natural specimens of these living fossils in the hope that the relevant varieties will eventually be removed from the endangered species list.

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