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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Wang Yanpeng
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is located in the Szechuan province about 150 km from Chengtu. Its altitude ranges from 1,200 to 6,250 meters above sea level and it is a center of biodiversity (e.g. 4,000 plant species). The occurrence of the world’s largest giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) population within the area was the reason for the designation of the biosphere reserve. The protection of this umbrella species and its habitats assured the survival of all other species in the area.
While agriculture remains the major economic activity of local people (about 5,000 people in 1997), tourist activities are increasingly becoming sources of income. Apart from the construction of tourist facilities, impacts on the ecosystem come from a high human population pressure, causing for example the fragmentation of green corridors which are important for the survival of the giant panda population, as well as non-authorized firewood and medicinal plant collection. Some of the challenges of the biosphere reserve are to promote sustainable tourism and to develop alternative income opportunities, for instance through the cultivation of medicinal plants.
Past research within the biosphere reserve focused on the ecology and biology of the giant panda. However today, the ecosystem approach and the rehabilitation of bamboo and forest ecosystems play an important role as well.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Evergreen forest; evergreen deciduous broadleaf forest; mixed coniferous and broadleaf forest; coniferous forest mainly with Abies spp.; high mountain tundra; rocky habitats; agroecosystems
  Location   30°45' to 31°25'N; 102°52' to 103°25'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   200,000
  Core area(s)   119,460
  Buffer zone(s)   53,020
  Transition area(s) when given   27,520
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,200 to +6,250
  Year designated   1979
  Administrative authorities   Protection division of the Ministry of Forestry Government of Sichuan Province Protection office of Ministry of Forestry of Sichuan Administration of Wolong Natural Reserve
  Brief description   Meteorological monitoring
Giant panda population and concerned habitats
Breeding research of Giant panda in captivity
Mountain ecosystem monitoring
Study on the impact of the industry (water power generation),
agriculture and transportation on the environment
Human population
Tourism resources
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
Developed fixed monitoring methods and survey forms
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Habitat, meteorology, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Breeding/Reproduction, mammals, methodologies, mountain and highland systems, population genetics/population dynamics.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, energy production systems/alternative energy, industry, monitoring methodologies, social/socio-economic aspects, tourism, transport.
  Integrated monitoring   Impact and risk studies/Environmental impact, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   He Xiaoping
Wolong Nature Reserve Administration
Wenchuan County
623006 Sichuan Province
  Telephone   (86.837) 624 6618
(86.837) 624 6615
  Fax   (86.837) 624 6614

Last updated: 12/12/2007

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