3718 species newly recorded in Yunnan over past 30 years
A total of 3,718 new and newly recorded species have been discovered in Yunnan Province from 1992-2020.
The statistics is shown in the Checklist of New and Newly Recorded Species in Yunnan (1992-2020), which is released at the press conference of the 2021 International Biodiversity Day on May 22 in Kunming, issued by the Department of Ecology and Environment of Yunnan Province.
Conference of the Parties
The Checklist of New and Newly Recorded Species in Yunnan (1992-2020) was issued to welcome the coming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to be held in Kunming in October. It is jointly completed by researchers from the Department of Ecology and Environment of Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, with the support of Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Southwest Forestry University and other institutions.
According to the Checklist, a total of 3,718 species (2,519 new species and 1,199 newly recorded species) have been discovered in Yunnan Province, including macrofungi, lichens, moss, ferns, gymnosperms, angiosperms, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
In terms of the distribution area, the new and newly recorded species were mainly found in Gongshan County of Nujiang Prefecture and Mengla County of Xishuangbanna Prefecture.
The biodiversity survey is relatively weak in central Yunnan. “The new genus Tsaiodendron, which was named in honor of XTBG founder Cai Xitao, has not been found and published until 2017,” said Tan Yunhong of XTBG.
Rich biodiversity in Yunnan
In addition, the mid-1990s and the past 10 years are the peak period for the discovery of new and newly recorded species. More than 200 species were discovered or newly recorded in both 2016 and 2020.
Over the past 30 years, more than one-third of new species in China have been discovered in Yunnan, making it the place where the most new species were recorded.
Increase public awareness
“The Checklist is a reflection of Yunnan’s great contribution to biodiversity conservation research and lays a foundation for further strengthening species protection, guiding the rational development and utilization of biological resources, and providing the data support for timely updating the biological species checklist and its red list in Yunnan,” said officials of Yunnan at the press conference.
Meanwhile, the Checklist enriches the public understanding of biodiversity, which is of positive significance to increase public awareness and better knowing status quo of biodiversity in Yunnan.
“Taking the release of the Checklist of New and Newly Recorded Species in Yunnan (1992-2020) as a new starting point, we’ll work collaboratively and contribute more to new species discovery and biodiversity conservation,” said Yang Yongping of XTBG.
This article has first been published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.