Yunnan makes notable progress in biodiversity conservation

(People's Daily Online) 11:14, October 13, 2021

In recent years, southwest China’s Yunnan province has seen notable improvements in preserving and increasing the diversity of its species, which is a direct reflection of its biodiversity, thanks to continuous efforts made by the province, especially those from researchers.

Photo shows a glimpse of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species in southwest China. (Photo courtesy of the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Yunnan has carried out thorough surveys on the biodiversity status across the province and has taken targeted measures to protect biological diversity based on the survey and evaluation results.

According to the statistics, a total of 3,718 new species have been discovered in Yunnan, including 2,519 new species and 1,199 newly recorded species.

Researchers began to carry out surveys on the diversity of plants across Yunnan in the 1930s, which has provided technological support for the protection, research and sustainable utilization of biological diversity in the province and China at large, according to Sun Hang, director of the Kunming Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the provincial capital of Kunming.

Yunnan built the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, China’s first national database for the collection and preservation of wildlife germplasm resources at the Kunming Institute of Botany in 2007. As of the end of 2020, the germplasm bank had preserved 85,046 copies of 10,601 wild plant seeds. Its seed storage accounted for one-third of the total number of wild plant species nationwide, making it the largest in Asia and the second of its kind globally.

The province has taken the lead in the protection and research of those wild plants with extremely small populations in China, recording basic data on the status quo for 80 plant species. The Kunming Botanical Garden started building a garden featuring wild plants with extremely small populations in 2015. Currently, a total of 44 rare target species have been transplanted into the garden under protection efforts.

Meanwhile, the populations of rare and endangered wild animal species, including Asian elephants, Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, and western black crested gibbons have been growing steadily as a result of years of conservation efforts.

Yunnan has also been successful in the captive breeding of rare animals. For example, thanks to the use of genome sequencing technology, the pure green peafowl, one of the world’s most threatened pheasants, have hatched peachicks.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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