Shanxi mountains

Country/Territory China (mainland)
Area 180,000 km2
Altitude 1300 - 2800m
Priority high
Habitat loss severe
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA includes the mountains of Shanxi and Hebei provinces and Beijing municipality in north-east China, and possibly also adjacent parts of Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The restricted-range species present are associated with a band of temperate-zone deciduous oak forest and pine forest which extends through the Luliang Shan and Taihang Shan in Shanxi to the mountains north of Beijing and the Yan Shan in north-east Hebei (see Hou 1979).

Restricted-range species

This region of China is densely populated and extensively deforested, and the EBA's two restricted-range species are known from a small number of scattered, isolated forest remnants. Four of these forests have been established as protected areas for the conservation of Crossoptilon mantchuricum, which also occurs in at least two unprotected localities. Its distribution and ecology are relatively well studied (AOSNR 1990, Liu Huan-jin and Liu 1991), but the discovery of a new site in the western part of Beijing municipality in 1990 (Li Xiang-tao 1993, 1995) suggests that there may be undiscovered populations elsewhere in the EBA. Turdus feae is known relatively poorly, but there are recent records during the breeding season from at least four localities (Cai Gikan 1987, King 1987, Robson 1993b, P. Alström in litt. 1993). Another bird which is only known to breed in the forests of this EBA, Ficedula (narcissina) elisae, is probably best treated as a full species (Alström et al. in prep.).

Species IUCN Category
Brown Eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) VU
Grey-sided Thrush (Turdus feae) VU

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
CN079 Wangyedian Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN292 Huanglong Shan Brown Eared-pheasant Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN305 Luya Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN306 Pangquangou Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN307 Tianlongshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN308 Wulu Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN313 Wuling Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN314 Xiaowutai Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN324 Dongling Shan China (mainland)
CN325 Baihua Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)

Threat and conservation

Most of the natural forest in this part of China was lost and fragmented in the past, and the numbers of the restricted-range birds must have been much reduced. They are both listed as threatened because of continuing pressures on the remaining forests (see Smil 1984), and the eggs of Crossoptilon mantchuricum are collected for food (McGowan and Garson 1995). A more-widespread threatened forest species which is supposed to have been recorded from this EBA (see e.g. Cheng Tso-hsin 1987) is Reeves's Pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii (classified as Vulnerable), but the historical evidence for its occurrence here is questionable (Ding Chang-qing verbally 1996), and there have been no records of it from here in the last 10–20 years (McGowan and Garson 1995).

The most important sites for the conservation of the restricted-range birds are the protected areas established for Crossoptilon mantchuricum: Pangquangou, Wulushan and Luyashan Nature Reserves in Shanxi, and Xiaowutai Shan Nature Reserve in Hebei. Dongling Shan, the newly discovered site for this species near Beijing, has a population of 200-500 birds, but is threatened by plans to build a mine (Poole 1994).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Shanxi mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/09/2022.