Advertisement

International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 389–398 | Cite as

Habitat Degradation of Rhinopithecus bieti in Yunnan, China

  • Wen Xiao
  • Wei Ding
  • Liang-Wei Cui
  • Ru-Liang Zhou
  • Qi-Kun Zhao
Article

Abstract

Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are endemic to the Trans-Himalayas in Northwest Yunnan and Southeast Tibet between the upper Yangtze and Mekong Rivers. Based on field surveys and previous reports, we identified the dark-coniferous forest, the mixed coniferous and broadleaf forest, and oak patches as suitable habitats (SH) for the monkeys. Summer grazing lands (SGL), which were made by local people cutting and burning the dark-coniferous forest at the high altitude belt, replaced SH. To have a general view of the status of the SH in Yunnan, we estimated the areas of SH and SGL from satellite images in 1997, and compared with areas estimated from aerial photo-based maps (ca. 1958). The work resulted in: 1) the area of SH was 4,169 km2 in 1997; 2) SGL was 1,923 km2; 3) during the past 40 years, the area of SH decreased by 31% (1,887 km2), and SGL increased by 204% (1,291 km2); and 4) the mean size of forest patches decreased from 15.6 to 5.4 km2. In addition, the area of SGL is positively correlated to local human population (R2 ≥ 0.53), implying that the reduction and fragmentation of habitat for Rhinopithecus bieti is a result of population growth of humans, who mostly employ traditional modes of production. Only 11 monkey groups remained in the changing habitat. Considering that forests at lower elevation were also encroached upon by farmlands in a similar way, the forest ecosystem is highly threatened. The destruction will continue unless there is a change in the mode of production in the region.

grazing land extension habitat degradation human population satellite image topographic map Rhinopithecus bieti 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashton, E. H., Healy, M. J. R., Oxnard, C. E., and Spence, T. F. (1965). The combination of locomotor features of the primate shoulder girdle by canonical analysis. J. Zool. 147: 406-429.Google Scholar
  2. Bai, S. C. (1987). Survey on hunting of Yunnan golden monkeys. Chin. Wildl. (1): 14-15, 13. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. Baillie, J., and Groombridge B. (Eds.) (1996). 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, IUCN, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  4. Fleischner, T. (1994). Ecological costs of livestock grazing in western North America. Cons. Biol. 8: 629-644.Google Scholar
  5. Issues in international conservation (1998). The global 200: A representation approach to conserving the earth's most biologically valuable ecoregions. Cons. Biol. 12: 502-515.Google Scholar
  6. Kirkpatrick, R. C., Long Y. C., Zhong, T., and Xiao, L. (1998). Social organization and range use in the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey Rhinopithecus bieti. Int. J. Primatol. 19: 13-51Google Scholar
  7. Long, Y. C., Kirkpatrick, R. C., Zhong, T., and Xiao, L. (1996). Status and conservation strategy of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. Chin. Biodiv. 4: 145-152 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  8. Mittermeier, R. A. (1986). A global overview of primate conservation. In Else J. G., and Lee P. C. (Eds.), Primate Ecology and Conservation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 325-340.Google Scholar
  9. Yang, S.-J. (2000). Habitat, Diet, Range Use and Social Organization of Rhinopithecus bieti at Jinsichang, PhD Dissertation, Kunming institute of zoology, Kunming, Yunnan, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  10. Zhao, Q.-K. (1988). Status of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. Primate Conserv. 9: 131-134.Google Scholar
  11. Zhao, Q.-K. (1996). Ecological information on statistics of human population and agriculture in Hengduan Mountains from Yunnan. Chin. Biodiv. 4: 217-221 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  12. Zhao, Q.-K., He, S.-J., Wu, B.-Q., and Nash, L. T. (1988). Excrement distribution and habitat use in Rhinopithecus bieti in winter. Am. J. Primatol. 16: 275-284Google Scholar
  13. Zhong, T., Xiao L., Kirkpatrick, R. C., and Long, Y.-C. (1998). A brief report on Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys, Rhinopithecus (R.) bieti at Bamei in northern Yunnan Provinces, China. Primate Conserv. 18: 76-80.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Xiao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liang-Wei Cui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ru-Liang Zhou
    • 3
  • Qi-Kun Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)Kunming, YunnanPeople's Republic of China.
  2. 2.raduate School of CASBeijingPeople's Republic of China
  3. 3.South West Forestry CollegeKunming, YunnanPeople's Republic of China

Personalised recommendations