Gaoligonshan Nature Reserve

Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve lies at the juncture of Baoshan city, Tengchong and Lushui country west of Yunnan Province, China. It lies on the west side of Nujiang (Salween) River and on the Sino-Myanmar border. Covering a total area of 4055 sq. km with 85% forest coverage, the reserve is 9 km wide from east to west and 135km from south to north.The nature reserve protects a series of vertical vegetation types from subtropical evergreen forest, montane evergreen forest, subalpine conifer forest and alpine woodland and meadow, and especially the rare and endemic species in the Gaoligongshan range. The lower edge of the reserve ranges between 1,500 to 2,500 m and the Wona (3916m a.s.l) is the highest peak in the reserve. A unique multilevel climate and diversity of subtropical ecosystems result in strikingly splendid landscape that leaves people with an impression of having different seasons in different parts of the Gaoligonshan mountains. The reserve, being in three parts is administrated by two prefectural bureaus in Baoshan City and Nujiang Prefecture. The Chinese Ministry of Forestry has allotted 8,550 hectares in the GNNR for tourism development. It is indicated that the reserve can become an international model for ecotourism that brings economic benefit to local people, instills local pride, fosters an ethic of stewardship, and preserves indigenous cultures

General Information:

Landscape: Brahmaputra-Salween Protected Area Type: Strict Nature Reserve
Established Year: 1986 Area: 4055 sq. km.

Geographical Features:

Min: 24.66 Max: 28.5
Min: 97.5 Max: 97.5
From: 700 meter To: 4640 meter
Average rainfall (m): 100- 400 mm
Climate: Cool and dry (November-April); Warmer and wetter(May-October)

Biodiversity Features:

Biomes: Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest; Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest
Vegetation: Forest types includes: tropical monsoon forest (< 1000 m asl), subtropical evergreen broad-leaf forest (1000–2600 m a.s.l.), temperate (montane) deciduous broad-leaf forest (1000–3000 m a.s.l.), sub-alpine coniferous forest (2700–3500 m a.s.l.), alpine meadow (> 3400 m a.s.l.), and alpine tundra. The vegetation of the reserve differs in east, west and south side. The eastern side including the Baihualing consist of three major vegetation types.The lower foothills is dominated by monsoon evergreen forests, mid-elevation by wet evergreen forest rich in epiphytes(Orchidaceae, Araliaceaeand Polypodiaceae).The area is highly diverse in Fagaceae, Lauraceae, Magnoliaceae and Ericaceae. The dominant species are Lithocarpus variolosus, Castonopsis sp., Cyclobalanopsis lamellosa, Michelia floribunda, Vaccinum sp., and several species of Rhododendron.On high mountain slopes between 2800-3200m the mountain shrubland are dominant with species like Rosa sp., Rubus sp., Sorbus sp., Gentiana sp., Pedicularis sp., etc. On the western slope that includes Datang Area, the forests are mostlydisturbed including species like Lithocarpus spp., Prunus nepalensis, Acer davidii, Lindura communis, Rosa omeiensis, Iris tectorum and several species of Elaaeocarpus. The southern slopes of the reserve i.e, Nankang region shares with eastern and western floras. It is also the important biological corridor between the eastern and western slopes of Gaoligongshan. The mid-elevation wet evergreen forest of this area is rich in epiphytes such as orchids and ferns.The dominant species are Lithocarpus variolosus, Schima khasiana, Phoebe sp., Castonopsis lamellosa, Rhododendron etc.

Socioeconomic Features:

Community Structure:
EthnicGroup: 213600 residents of 16 nationalities belonging to 109 administrative villages, 19 townships and 5 counties of Yunnan Province resides here.16 different ethnic groups: Han, Dai, Lisu, Hui, Bai, Miao, Yi, Zhuong, Nu, Achong, Jingpo, Wa, de'ang, naxi, Drung and Tibetan are found in the reserve.
Natural Heritage:
Cultural Significance:
Livelihood strategies: The major livelihood patterns of the people includes Agriculture esp cash crop sugarcane,household industries such as Traditional crafts like embroidered shoes, wicker stools , collection of NTFPs. There are local organisations such as the Gaoligongshan Farmers’ Biodiversity and Conservation Association, small tourism organisation in Dayutang, and a women’s association in Manghuang that are significant in promoting other alternative livelihoods options.

Conservation Management:

IUCN Category: V - Protected Landscape/Seascape
Area of land, with coast and sea as appropriate, where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant aesthetic, ecological and/or cultural value, and often with high biological diversity. Safeguarding the integrity of this traditional interaction is vital to the protection, maintenance and evolution of such an area.
Management Authority: The Reserve is managed by Gaoligong Shan National Reserve Baoshan Management Bureau,Baoshan City
Park Head Quarter: The reserve headquarter is Baihualing , which is one of the most exciting bird watching site.
Conservation History: In 1983 Southern section of Galigong Mountain was declared as Galigong Shan Nature reserve.It was upgraded to Galigong Shan National Reserve in1983; in 1986 it was merged with Nu Jiang Reserve to become enlarged Gaoligongshan national Nature Reserve. In 2000 designated as Biospheere Reserve by UNESCO. In 2002, World Wildlife Fund designated it a level A grade Protected Areas. World Heritage Convention in 2003 included it as a part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, World Heritage Site.
Conservation Challenges: The primary direct threats to Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve are (i) agricultural activities—including the use of chemical fertilizers—along the lower edge of the reserve (with associated disruption of streams and rivers and drift of pollutants); (ii) continued expansion of crop, pasturelands, and grazing into the reserve; and (iii) local needs for fuel given the few affordable alternatives to burning wood. Lack of basic information on environmentally safe alternatives to current farming practices threatens to extend these damaging activities into the future. Deforestation of the lower slopes places an enormous diversity of plants and animals—many of them restricted to the region—at risk of extinction.
Conservation Efforts:
Transboundary Features:
Base Layers
Other Layers
  • Important Bird Areas
  • Protected Area
  • Corridor
  • Ecology
  • Globe Land Cover
  • Landscape
  • HKH Boundary