Fanjingshan

 
 
N27 53 44 E108 40 48
Date of Inscription: 2018
Criteria: (x)
Property : 40,275 ha
Buffer zone: 37,239 ha
Ref: 1559
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Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province (south-west China), Fanjingshan ranges in altitude between 500 metres and 2,570 metres above sea level, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species that originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago. The property’s isolation has led to a high degree of biodiversity with endemic species, such as the Fanjingshan Fir (Abies fanjingshanensis) and the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi), and endangered species, such as the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus), the Forest Musk Deer (Moschus berezovskii) and Reeve’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii). Fanjingshan has the largest and most contiguous primeval beech forest in the subtropical region.

The Fanjingshan World Heritage property is located in South-West China, covering a total area of 40,275 ha, fully enclosed by a buffer zone of 37,239 ha. Fanjingshan is located in a monsoonal climatic context and is an important source of water for the surrounding landscapes and beyond, with some 20 rivers and streams feeding the Wujiang and Yuanjiang River systems, both of which ultimately drain into the Yangtze River.

The property consists of two parts, namely the Jian Nan subtropical evergreen forests ecoregion (64%) and the Guizhou Plateau broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion (36%). The highest peak, Mt Fenghuangshan, has an elevation of 2,570 m above sea level (masl) and the property covers and an altitudinal range of more than 2,000 m. The resulting vertical stratification of vegetation falls within three major altitudinal vegetation zones: evergreen broadleaf forest (<1,300 masl), mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forest (1,300-2,200 masl) and mixed deciduous broadleaf and conifer and scrub forest (>2,200 masl).

Fanjingshan is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst and is home to many ancient and relict plant and animal species which originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago. The property’s geologic and climatic characteristics have shaped its flora which behaves as if it were on an island. This has led to a high degree of endemism, with a total of 46 locally endemic plant species, 4 endemic vertebrate species and 245 endemic invertebrate species. The most prominent endemic species are Fanjingshan Fir (Abies fanjingshanensis – EN) and Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi – EN), both of which are entirely restricted to the property. Three species of Fagus (F. longipetiolata, F. lucida, and F. engleriana) are the dominant species of what is understood to be the largest primary beech forest in the subtropical region.

A total of 3,724 plant species have been recorded in the property, an impressive 13% of China’s total flora. The property is characterized by an exceptionally high richness in bryophytes as well as one of the distribution centres for gymnosperms in China. The diversity of invertebrates is also very high with 2,317 species. A total of 450 vertebrate species are found inside the property. Fanjingshan being the only habitat in the world for Fanjingshan Fir and Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey, as well as 64 plant and 38 animal species that are listed as globally threatened, including the tree Bretschneidera sinensis (EN), Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus – CR), Forest Musk Deer (Moschus berezovskii – EN), Reeves’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii – VU), and Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus – VU).

Criterion (x): Fanjingshan is characterized by an exceptional richness in bryophytes, with 791 species, of which 74 are endemic to China. The property also has one of the richest concentrations of gymnosperms in the world, with 36 species. A significant number of endemic species are distributed inside the property, including 46 local endemic and 1,010 Chinese endemic plant species, as well as 4 locally endemic vertebrate species. The most notable of these is the endangered Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey, which is found only in Fanjingshan and nowhere else in the world. Another prominent endemic species is Fanjingshan Fir, which is also restricted to this property.

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