Limestone Ecosystem - Exianling, Hainan

Hainan Island has limited areas of karst limestone landscape, but these limestone gems, scattered mainly in western Hainan, support many species found nowhere else on earth. Since 2004, Kadoorie Conservation China (KCC), a Department of KFBG, has been working with partners to study Hainan's limestone ecosystem and its conservation value; researchers supported by KFBG found pristine rainforest and uncovered a lot of new species and new China records in this specialized ecosystem. Sadly, the ever-expanding farmland and industrial cement production, using the limestone, are putting unprecedented pressures on these limestone forests, and very little effort has been invested in the study and conservation of this unique ecosystem.

To help conserve the limestone ecosystem of Hainan, KCC and Hainan Provincial Forestry Department co-organized the workshop 'Hainan Limestone Habitats and their Biodiversity' in 2006. A recommendation, signed by over 60 ecologists from China and abroad, was sent to the Provincial Government, highlighting the conservation needs of limestone habitats in Hainan, and calling for the creation of limestone forest nature reserves. Presentation materials were compiled and published in Tropical Forestry - 2007 Vol.35 Supplement. Topics included tropical limestone ecosystems of Hainan Island and conservation experience of surrounding regions.

For details, please see 'Contents of Hainan Limestone Ecosystem Articles'. If you would like to obtain any of the articles, please contact KCC by email at

KCC has been heavily involved in the management of Exianling limestone forest, which is the largest limestone outcrop in Hainan with the best-preserved forest. Since 2009, we have sponsored the construction of a reserve station, provided capacity building to the local wardens, improved their patrol efficiency and provided field equipment, etc. KCC also sponsors research projects to explore the uniqueness of its fauna and flora.