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Yinggeling National Nature Reserve, Hainan

Yinggeling (YGL) sits deep in the interior mountains of Hainan Island, and because of its remoteness, the site was never properly studied by scientists. Kadoorie Conservation China Department (KCC) joined a pilot survey of the area in 2003, and was impressed by the extent of primary rainforest and rich biodiversity. In 2005, the Provincial Forestry Department of Hainan and KCC led a three-month expedition to study the area's biodiversity value. Together with our collaborators, the team of over 60 specialists discovered a wealth of exciting biodiversity, including species new-to-science such as the Yinggeling Tree Frog (Rhacophorus yinggelingensis), new China records such as the tropical tree Trigonobalanus verticillata, and over 160 new Hainan records such as the subtropical tree Bretschneidera sinensis and Pygmy Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla). These findings underlined the irreplaceable conservation importance of YGL. However, like many other forest areas, the biodiversity value of YGL was slowly being degraded by illegal activities such as poaching and logging.

 

To preserve this unique biodiversity asset, KCC has whole-heartedly supported the Provincial Forestry Department of Hainan to develop YGL into a world-class nature reserve. KCC’s Head of Department, Dr. Bosco Chan, has even been seconded to the position of Special Deputy Director to assist in reserve management since 2006. In a span of few years, YGL has accomplished significant achievements in reserve management, research and monitoring, and community-based conservation. In late 2014, YGL was officially upgraded to a national nature reserve. The experience gained and challenges tackled in managing YGL prove invaluable as a model for enhanced management of other protected areas in the region. 

 

Read more:

1. Can Plants Flower and Pollinate Underwater?

2. Freshwater Ecosystem Conservation in Hainan

3. Fish Sanctuary Projects in Yinggeling, Hainan 

4. Freshwater Turtles Study in Hainan

5. Community Work in Daoyin Village, Yinggeling, Hainan