Southeast China-Hainan Moist Forests

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Raindrops on fallen Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) leaves in autumn.
© WWF-Canon / Michèle DÉPRAZ

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is made up of 3 terrestrial ecoregions: Jian Nan subtropical evergreen forests; South China-Vietnam subtropical evergreen forests; Hainan Island monsoon rain forests.

A relatively stable climate over a long period of time has led to the development of a very diverse flora and fauna, including roughly 1,700 families of seed-bearing plants.

Some of these are endemic, monotypic (one species per family); others include ancient species, such as the Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba) or Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides).

Hainan is about one million years old and is home to 4,200 species of plants, almost 100 species of mammals, and 300 species of birds.

Size:
903,411 sq. km (348,807 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Geographic Location:
Southeastern China, Vietnam

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered

Local Species
Mammals include serow (Cappricornis sumatrensis), and leopard (Panthera pardus). The Jian Nan ecoregion is subject to frequent typhoons yet is rich in bird species. Particular areas within the ecoregion typically contain 400 or more species. They include the pale-headed woodpecker (Gecinulus grantia), black-throated parrotbill (Paradoxornis nipalensis), red-tailed laughing thrush (Garrulax milnei), great barbet (Megalaima virens), long-tailed silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), Cabot's tragopan (Tragopan caboti), collared scops owl (Otus bakkamoena), and rufous fantailed warbler (Cisticola juncidis).

Other species, like silver oriole (Oriolus mellianus) have ranges that are partly or entirely restricted to this ecoregion.

Endemic amphibians include the tiny Romer's tree frog (Philautus romeri), Hong Kong newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis), Asiatic salamander (Vibrissaphora liu), tree frog (Hyla sanchiangensis), and the horned toad (Megophrys kuatunensis).

Bamboo is a diverse and important component of the Hainan forest, especially in the limestone areas, and may form closed stands on disturbed sites. One ecologically significant species is spiny bamboo (Bambusa arunidinacea).
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Paul BARRUEL
Cabot's tragopan (Tragopan caboti) Drawing.
© WWF-Canon / Paul BARRUEL

Featured Species

The Spiny bamboo (Bambusa arunidinacea) is a tall woody bamboo and has thorny and numerous stems. It is up to 40 m tall, curving at top. The leaves are thin, linear and up to 20 cm long. Very young shoots are consumed as food in some parts of India and China. However, if consumed raw or improperly cooked, as little as 8 gm can be fatal.

It thrives in tropical to subtropical climates, growing in warm humid temperate areas as well, but thriving best under frost-free conditions, in rich to medium fertile soils with good water supply.

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Threats
Threats include habitat loss through agricultural expansion with slash-and-burn cultivation as an added threat, excessive hunting, the collection of rare species for sale, development pressures caused by high population density, and a rapidly growing economy.
WWF’s work
In the Indo-China region, WWF is assisting with the management of protected areas, promoting sustainable forestry practices and encouraging the participation of local people, so that they benefit from the conservation of forest resources. To this end, WWF and furniture company IKEA have forged a partnership whereby the interests and responsibilities of WWF and IKEA coincide in a considerate, efficient and long-term economically sound use of natural resources.

The WWF and IKEA Cooperation on Forest Projects work on 2 fronts in China:
  • helping to ensure that the country's remaining forests are protected for future generations.
  • promoting responsible wood imports.
WWF is actively working to protect the animal species in Indo-China by preserving habitat, fighting commercial trade and supporting eco-tourism.

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