EXPLORE Fanjingshan with this slideshow, check the location map and get all the facts and information below.
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Location and Values: Fanjingshan is an isolated mountain in Guizhou Province, south-central China. It has the largest, contiguous beech forest in the sub-tropical region and is recognized on the world heritage list for its outstanding biodiversity. The site ranges from 500m to 2,570m in elevation, and has a corresponding diversity of vegetation zones with evergreen broadleaf forests below 1,300m grading towards deciduous broadleaf (beech), conifer and scrub forests towards the mountain summits. The mountain’s isolation has resulted in a high degree of endemism amongst its plant and animal species, exemplified by the Fanjingshan Fir tree and Guizhou Snub-nosed monkey (both of which occur nowhere else in the world). A total of 3,724 species of plants have been recorded, a quarter of which are endemic to China, including an unusual concentration of bryophytes and gymnosperms. A significant number of Fanjingshan’s plant and animal species are classified as globally threatened, including Asiatic black bear, forest musk deer, Reeve’s pheasant and the Chinese giant salamander (the world’s largest amphibian).
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2020) the conservation status of Fanjingshan is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the rugged terrain affords the site a high degree of natural protection and this is supported by a management system that is mostly effective, including an exemplary monitoring programme. Poaching has been a significant threat in the past, decimating some high-value species such as the giant salamander, but this is now under better control and populations of affected species are recovering. The most immediate current threat comes from rapidly expanding tourism and the development of associated infrastructure. Construction of a cable car to Jinding Peak may have caused some habitat disturbance, but has longer-term benefits by reducing foot traffic along the path through the forest to the peak. The potential impact of climate change is not yet understood, but may threaten species (such as beech and gymnosperms) that are more typically found in temperate regions of the world. In addition there are potential threats to the ecology of the site from outside settlements its boundaries, including from pollution and aquaculture developments.
The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of Fanjingshan with a portfolio of photos that illustrate its landscape features and some of the typical plants and animals. It starts with views of the summit area with its extraordinary twin Buddhist temples perched on two imposing rock spires, followed by some wider aerial views of the forested mountains taken from a drone. The second part of the slideshow includes some general scenes of the forest interior and illustrates some of the threatened animals of Fanjingshan including (in order of appearance) Reeve’s pheasant, Forest musk deer, Asiatic black bear and Chinese giant salamander.
The following Flickr photographers and other sources are acknowledged with thanks for their contributions to this slideshow (as credited in the watermark of each photo): Vincent Liu, Vang, Xinhua/Yao Lei, Xinhua/Ou Ongqu, Xinhua/Luo Xinghan, Stewart Liang, Brian Shreeve, Yaxbalam, Tim Melling, Xinhua/Wu Haihui, Wy L., Tim Tao, News Finale, moi vui diep, Jay and Rebecca Kepich. Note that some of the close-up photos of animals are from other locations (including animals in captivity), and these are included for illustrative purposes, as representatives of the species found in the area. In some cases, these may belong to different sub-species and/or vary slightly in appearance from individuals from Fanjingshan.
Temperate & Boreal Forests
Area: 403 km2
- Natural habitat for biodiversity (x);
- Significant number of rare, endemic and/or endangered species (x)