South-east Chinese mountains

Country/Territory China (mainland),Vietnam
Area 610,000 km2
Altitude 300 - 1900m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss severe
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

This EBA includes the hills and mountains of most of south-east China, in southern Anhui, southern Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, northern Guangdong and eastern Guizhou provinces, and Guangxi autonomous region (and possibly adjacent northern Vietnam). The natural vegetation here is subtropical broadleaf forest, with some coniferous and mixed forest in the mountains, and a zone of tropical lowland rain forest in the south. However, the human population density of this region has been high for the past several hundred years (Institute of Geography et al. 1994), and much of the natural forest cover had been cleared well before ornithological recording began. The bird species of the region which are treated here as having restricted ranges are thus those which are considered to have occupied areas of 50,000 km2 or less throughout the period for which data exist, although the original ranges of some of them are likely to have been larger than this threshold; all are forest birds. As virtually all level lowland forest in this part of China has been cleared, the EBA is represented on the map by all the land above 300 m, although only a small percentage of this area actually supports natural forest.

In Guizhou, Guangdong and Guangxi, this EBA overlaps with the eastern part of the Chinese subtropical forests (EBA 140). The birds of that EBA are also associated with subtropical broadleaf forest, but the available informatiupon on that region is not good enough to determine whether the birds of the two EBAs are separated ecologically, or occur together in the same habitats.

Restricted-range species

The restricted-range species vary in their habitat requirements and distributions, and some recent major extensions in their known ranges suggest that much remains to be learned (see e.g. He Fen-qi and Lu Tai-chun 1991, Zheng Guang-mei and Zhang Zheng-wang 1993). Gorsachius magnificus is known historically (in this EBA) from Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangxi, but the only recent records are from Guangxi (Zhou Fang >in litt. 1993); a record from northern Vietnam (Vo Quy 1983) suggests that the boundary of the EBA should perhaps be extended to include part of that country. Tragopan caboti and Arborophila gingica apparently have a more southerly distribution than the other species, in southern Zhejiang, Fujian, southern Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi and south-east Hunan, and range to higher altitudes (see Li Xiao-liu et al. 1990, Young et al. 1991, Ding Chang-qing and Zheng Guang-mei 1993). Syrmaticus ellioti breeds between 500 and 1,000 m (Ding Ping and Zhuge Yang 1990), and is the only species recorded from eastern Guizhou at the western extreme of the EBA (He Fen-qi and Lu Tai-chun 1991). Rhinomyias brunneata occurs in lowland forest, and is the only species recorded from southern Jiangsu.

Species IUCN Category
Collared Partridge (Arborophila gingica) NT
Cabot's Tragopan (Tragopan caboti) VU
Elliot's Pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti) NT
White-eared Night-heron (Oroanassa magnifica) EN
(Cyornis brunneatus) NR

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
Babao Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
Chengjia Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN279 Dashahe Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN280 Mayanghe Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN282 Fanjing Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN284 Fodingshan Forest China (mainland)
CN288 Leigong Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN289 Yueliangshan Forest China (mainland)
CN348 Shennongjia Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN349 Houhe Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN353 Jiugong Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN362 Guniujiang Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN363 Mount Huang Shan China (mainland)
CN364 Qingliangfeng Nature Reserve (Anhui) China (mainland)
CN378 Qingliangfeng Nature Reserve (Zhejiang) China (mainland)
CN379 Tianmu Shan China (mainland)
CN380 Qiandao Hu Reservoir China (mainland)
CN389 Shuiwu China (mainland)
CN393 Kuocang Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN401 Gutian Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN403 Jiulong Shan Nature Reserve (Zhejiang) China (mainland)
CN404 Baiyun Forest Park China (mainland)
CN405 Fengyang Shan - Baishanzu Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN406 Shiyang Forest Park China (mainland)
CN407 Wuyanling Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN408 Wuyi Shan Nature Reserve (Fujian) China (mainland)
CN409 Wanmulin Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN412 Longqi Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN413 Daiyun Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN414 Niumulin Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN415 Meihua Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN418 Guanshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN419 Jiulingshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN428 Wuyi Shan Nature Reserve (Jiangxi) China (mainland)
CN429 Matoushan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN430 Jinggang Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN431 Suichuan China (mainland)
CN432 Jiulianshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN433 Huping Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN434 Badagongshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN435 Tianmen Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN436 Xiaoxi Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN437 Wulingyuan China (mainland)
CN439 Dawei Shan Nature Reserve (Hunan) China (mainland)
CN440 Huangsang Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN441 Wugang Yunshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN442 Ziyun Wanfeng Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN443 Nanyue Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN445 Dupangling Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN446 Jiuyi Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN447 Mangshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN448 Bamian Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN449 Taoyuandong Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN461 Xunle Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN462 Jiuwan Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN463 Sijian Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN464 Yuanbao Shan - Gunbei Laoshan China (mainland)
CN465 Mao'er Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN466 Tianping Shan China (mainland)
CN467 Sansuo Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN468 Haiyangshan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN469 Yindian Shan and Xiling Shan ranges China (mainland)
CN470 Gupo Shan China (mainland)
CN471 Huashuichong Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN472 Jiaqiaoling Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN473 Lagou Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN474 Guxiu Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN475 Dayao Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN476 Pingnan Dapeng China (mainland)
CN477 Daping Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN478 Xianhu Reservoir China (mainland)
CN479 Damingshan China (mainland)
CN481 Longhushan China (mainland)
CN489 Nanling mountains China (mainland)
CN489 Nanling mountains China (mainland)
CN490 Maozi Feng China (mainland)
CN491 Jiangkou Xiang-Mashi Zhen China (mainland)
CN492 Chebaling Nature Reserve China (mainland)
CN493 Huashui Shan China (mainland)
CN495 Nankun Shan Nature Reserve China (mainland)
VN029 Ban Thi - Xuan Lac Vietnam

Threat and conservation

This EBA is in one of the most densely populated regions in the world, and most of the natural forest has been cleared or modified as a result of the demands for agricultural land and timber. Rapid forest lost has taken place in most provinces in the EBA in the past fifty years, for example in Fujian, where timber reserves declined by 50% between 1949 and 1980 (Smil 1984). All five of the restricted-range species are listed as threatened, mainly as a result of this continuing loss and fragmentation of their habitat, but Tragopan caboti and Syrmaticus ellioti are also hunted for food (McGowan and Garson 1995). More widespread threatened forest species which breed in this EBA are Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha and Short-tailed Parrotbill Paradoxornis davidianus (both classified as Vulnerable). The threatened Yellow Bunting Emberiza sulphurata, which breeds in the Central Honshu montane forests (Secondary Area s090), is a non-breeding visitor to south-east China.

There are at least 40 protected areas within this EBA, most of which apparently have some suitable habitat for the restricted-range birds (Li Wenhua and Zhao Xian-jing 1989, IUCN 1992d). However, these reserves tend to be relatively small and isolated, and it is not clear how many of them contain large enough areas of suitable forest to support viable populations of these birds. The large Wuyi Shan Nature Reserve (565 km2) in Fujian is likely to be especially important for their long-term survival.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: South-east Chinese mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/12/2022.