Biodiversity of Bitahai Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China
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- Zhou, W. & Chen, B. Biodivers Conserv (2006) 15: 839. doi:10.1007/s10531-004-1869-3
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Bitahai Nature Reserve is located in Northwest Yunnan and is the highest elevation and the highest latitude wetland nature reserve in Yunnan Province. Bitahai Nature Reserve is a typical wetland nature reserve in very low latitude and high elevation with large areas of coniferous forest around the alpine till lakes, wetland and water area ecosystem while compared with natural reserves distributed same latitude in the world. The area of the reserve distribution is the key area of Transverse Mountain Region. It was a refuge for plant and wildlife because Transverse Mountains were not covered by ice in the Tertiary. And the area is now regarded as a center of forming new species and preserving ancient species. Species biodiversity is high and the distribution of some endemic animals and plants are limited in Transverse Mountains area. In the nature reserve, there are many first and second grade protected plants and animals listed in Lists of China National Priority Protection Fauna and Flora. All of these are precious materials of genetic diversity. The diversities of the plant community and vegetation contribute to ecosystem diversity. Thus, Bitahai Nature Reserve holds with high conservation value. However, its biodiversity is threatened by different factors and its conservation should be paid great attention.