China plans to establish the world’s largest national park system with about 50 selected national parks on the waiting list to be built, covering about 10 percent of China’s total land area, according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration. The selected parks will protect China’s most representative ecosystems and more than 80 percent of the state-level key protected wildlife species and their habitats.
China’s five national parks which marked the first anniversary of the establishment of the initial batch of national parks in the country have made initial progress in promoting ecological protection, institutional building and human-nature harmony.
The five parks – Northeast China Tiger and Leopard, Three-River-Source National Park, Giant Panda National Park, Wuyishan National Park and National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest – cover a total area of 230,000 square kilometers in 10 provinces, ranging from north to south China. The parks cover an area of nearly 230,000 square kilometers, offering sanctuary to nearly 30 percent of protected terrestrial species.
Wuyi Mountain National Park
The national parks have contributed to the systemic protection of China’s ecology. For example, 73 Protected Natural Areas in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces joined together to create the Giant Panda National Park, connecting the fragmented habitats and allowing genetic exchanges among different groups of giant pandas. The Siberian Tiger National Park of northeast China’s Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces has been carrying out cooperation with Russia, offering cross-border corridors to the world’s biggest cat and allowing them to settle down in China’s forest before their population could grow.
Giant Panda National Park
In Northeast China, the national park cleared a migration route for Siberian tigers and leopards, with the populations of the two animals reaching more than 50 and 60, respectively.
Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park
At least 28 new species of wildlife have been discovered in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest in one year – nine new species of plants, six new species of animals and 13 new species of macrofungi. As the function of the rainforest ecosystem is gradually restored in the park, which sits in South China’s Hainan Province, three new Hainan gibbons have been found in the past two years, and the wild population has increased to 36 in five groups.
Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park
The Three-River-Source National Park has also seen a significant increase in the number of wild animals, such as Tibetan antelopes and Tibetan wild donkeys. The Wuyishan National Park in East China discovered 14 new species in the past three years.
Sanjiangyuan (the Three-River-Source) National Park
The national parks are also reported to have made progress in exploring a path that could protect the ecology while improving local residents’ life. Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park has been relocating villagers and developing alternative industries such as growing mushrooms and tea trees. Many villagers are now able to receive the dividends earned from these industries and improve their life.
The national parks will comprehensively ensure the preservation of the most critical and valuable habitats of wildlife animals and thus effectively protect the country’s biodiversity as a whole.
Photo provided by National Forestry and Grassland Administration.