Current status of birds in Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, China

Main Article Content

Xi Zheng
Fei Li
Zheng Bi
Xing-Chao Zhang
Ji-Guo Han
Bosco Pui Lok Chan


We summarised the results of a four-year ornithological survey in the Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve and its immediate vicinity, and compiled an inventory of the present avifauna.  In total, 387 bird species were recorded in Tengchong from 2014 to 2018, including 116 which were hitherto undocumented.  The birds of Tengchong represented 48.9% of avifauna in Yunnan province, with a particularly rich elements of the Himalayan avifauna.  This immense bird species richness suggests that Tengchong is an important site for the preservation of Asian montane forest birds.  Although the current protected area system covered most of the intact forests in mid- to high-elevations, more conservation intervention should be allocated to lower elevation habitats below 2000m, which are largely outside the reserve boundaries and facing intensive development pressures. 

Article Details



Anderson, J. (1871a). A report on the expedition to western Yunan via Bhamo. Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta, India, 458pp.

Anderson, J. (1871b). On eight new species of birds from western Yunan, China. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871:211–215.

Anderson, J. (1876). Mandalay to Momien: A Narrative of the Two Expeditions to Western China of 1868 and 1875, Under Colonel Edward B. Sladen and Colonel Horace Browne. MacMillan & Co., London, 479pp.

Anderson, J. (1878). Anatomical and zoological researches: Comprising an account of the zoological results of the two expeditions to western Yunnan in 1868 and 1875; and a monograph of the two cetacean genera, Platanista and Orcella. B. Quaritch, London. 2 vols., xxv-l-985 pp., xi-I–84 pp.

BirdLife International (2017a). Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 9.1. Downloaded on 12 October 2017. Available at:

BirdLife International (2017b). Emberiza aureola. In: IUCN 2017. 2017 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 April 2018. Available at: DOI:

BirdLife International (2017c). Sarcogyps calvus. In: IUCN 2017. 2017 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 04 May 2018. Available at: DOI:

BirdLife International (2018). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gaoligong Shan Nature Reserve (southern section). Downloaded on 26 April 2018.

Chan, B.P.L., Z. Bi & S.Z. Duan (2019). Introduction to a four-year biodiversity survey of Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, in the footsteps of pioneering naturalists in western Yunnan, China. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(11): 14391–14401. DOI:

Dinata, Y., A. Nugroho, I. Achmadhaidir & M. Linkie (2008). Camera trapping rare and threatened avifauna in west-central Sumatra. Bird Conservation International 18: 30–37.

Dumbacher, J.P., J. Miller, M.E. Flannery & X. Yang (2011). Avifauna of the Gaoligong Shan Mountains of western China: a hotspot of avian species diversity. Ornithological Monographs 70: 30–63.

Flousek, J., T. Telenský, J. Hanzelka & J. Reif (2015). Population trends of central European montane birds provide evidence for adverse impacts of climate change on high-altitude species. PLoS ONE 10: 1–14.

Gasner, M.R., J.E. Jankowski, A.L. Ciecka, K.O. Kyle & K.N. Rabenold (2010). Projecting the local impacts of climate change on a Central American montane avian community. Biological Conservation 143: 1250–1258.

Han, L. (1997). The distribution and habitat selection of the Hume’s pheasant in Yunnan Syrmaticus humiae). Chinese Biodiversity 5: 185–189. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Han, L., C. He, B. Wang, Q. We, X. Luo, X. WU & M. Wei (2015). The Discovery of White-bellied Heron in Yunnan. Sichuan Journal of Zoology: Accessed on 22 October 2015. (in Chinese)

Han, L., S. Huang, X. Luo & H. Yang (2004). The distribution and conservation of Sclater’s monal in Yunnan. Biodiversity Science 12: 523–527. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Hua, F., J. Xu. & D.S. Wilcove (2017). A New Opportunity to Recover Native Forests in China. Conservation Letters 11: 1–8.

Holyoak, D.T. (2018). Hodgson’s Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D.A. Christie & E. de Juana (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 May 2018).

Jiang, Z., J. Jiang, Y. Wang, E. Zhang, Y. Zhang, L. Li, F. Xie, B. Cai, L. Cao, G. Zheng, L. Dong, Z. Zhang, P. Ding, Z. Luo, C. Ding, Z. Ma, S. Tang, W. Cao, C. Li, H. Hu, Y. Ma, Y. Wu, Y. Wang, K. Zhou, S. Liu, Y. Chen, J. Li, Z. Feng, Y. Wang, B. Wang, X. Li, X. Song, L. Cai, C. Zang, Y. Zeng, Z. Meng, H. Fang & X. Ping (2016). Red List of China’s Vertebrates. Biodiversity Science 24: 500–551. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Kamp, J., S. Oppel, A.A. Ananin, Y.A. Durnev, S.N. Gashev, N. Holzel, A.L. Mishchenko, J. Pessa, S.M. Smirenski, E.G. Strelnikov, S. Timonen, K. Wolanska & S. Chan (2015). Global population collapse in a superabundant migratory bird and illegal trapping in China. Conservation Biology 29: 1684–1694.

Li, F., X-Y. Huang, X-C. Zhang, X-X Z, J-h Y & B.P.L. Chan (2019). Mammals of Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(11): 14402–14414. DOI:

Liang, D., G. Gao, L. Han. & X. Luo (2017). Breeding Biology of Fire-Tailed Myzornis (Myzornis pyrrhoura) In an Alpine Environment in southwestern China. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 129: 568–575.

Liang, D., G. Gao, B. Wang, X.W. Wang, Y.X. Chan, X.R. Wu, C. Zhao, D.M. Jiang, L.X. Han & X. Luo (2015). The diversity and vertical distribution of the birds in middle Gaoligong Mountain, Yunnan. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 34(6): 930–940. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Luo, X., L. Han & H. Ai (2004). Preliminary Report on the Movement and Habitat Preference of Sclater’s Monal at Mt. Gaoligongshan in Winter. Zoological Research 25: 48–52. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Peng, Y., T. Wei, L. Yang & G. Liu (1980). Investigation Reports on Vertebrates in Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan Province, vol. 2: Birds. Sciences Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)

Rappole, J.H., T. Aung, P.C. Rasmussen & S.C. Renner (2011). Ornithological Exploration in the Southeastern Sub-Himalayan Region of Myanmar. Ornithological Monographs 70: 10–29.

Renner, S.C. & J.H. Rappole. (2011). Bird Diversity, Biogeographic Patterns, and Endemism of the Eastern Himalayas and Southeastern Sub-Himalayan Mountains. Ornithological Monographs 70: 153–166.

Rothschild, L.W. (1926). On the avifauna of Yunnan, with critical notes. Novitates Zoologicae 33: 189–343.

Rothschild, L.W. (1927a). Supplemental notes on the avifauna of Yunnan. Novitates Zoologicae 33: 395–400.

Rothschild, L.W. (1927b). Corrections and criticisms to the article on the avifauna of Yunnan. Novitates Zoologicae 33: 398–400.

Rothschild, L.W. (1927c). Supplement to the avifauna of Yunnan. Novitates Zoologicae 34: 39–45. DOI:

Sutherland, W.J. (Ed.) (2006). Ecological census techniques: a handbook, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 432pp.

Stattersfield, A.J., M.J. Crosby, A.J. Long & D.C. Wege (1998). Endemic Bird Areas of the World. Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, 816pp.

Stotz, D.F., E.J. Harris, D.K. Moskovits, K. Hao, S. Yi & G.W. Adelmann (eds.) (2003). China: Yunnan, Southern Gaoligongshan. Rapid Biological Inventories, No.4. The Field Museum, Chicago, 144pp.

Tang, C., Y. Xu & L. Yang (1996). Birds of the Hengduan Mountains Region. Sciences Press, Beijing, 546pp. (in Chinese)

Wang, L., S.S. Young, W. Wang, G. Ren, W. Xiao, Y. Long, J. Li. & J. Zhu (2016). Conservation priorities of forest ecosystems with evaluations of connectivity and future threats: implications in the eastern Himalaya of China. Biological Conservation 195: 128–135.

Wen, X., X. Yang, L. Han, L. Yang & W. Wang (1995). Investigations on the current status of the distribution of Green Peafowl in China. Chinese Biodiversity 3: 46–51. (in Chinese with English abstract)

Wu, Y.J., R.K. Colwell, N.J. Han, R.Y. Zhang, W.J. Wang, Q. Quan, C.L. Zhang, G. Song, Y.H. Qu & F.M. Lei (2014). Understanding historical and current patterns of species richness of babblers along a 5000-m subtropical elevational gradient. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23: 1167–1176.

Xi, J. (2017). Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Report at 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Downloaded on 11 April 2018. Available at’s_report_at_19th_CPC_National_Congress.pdf

Xue, J.R. (ed.) (1995). Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing, 395pp. (in Chinese)

Yang, L., X. Wen, L. Han, X. Yang, W. Shi & S. Wang (1995). The Avifauna of Yunnan China, vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China, 673pp. (in Chinese)

Yang, L. & X. Yang. (2004). The Avifauna of Yunnan China, vol. 2: Passeriformes. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China, 1056pp. (in Chinese)

Zhang, Q.W., Y.N. Gong, X.J. Song, X.C. Wang, C.T. Yang, Z.F. Shu & F.S. Zou (2018). Comparing the effectiveness of camera trapping to traditional methods for biodiversity surveys of forest birds. Biodiversity Science 26(3): 229–237.

Zheng, X., S. Li, X. Huang & F. Li (2017). Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs found in Tengchong, Yunnan. Chinese Journal of Zoology 52: 496. (in Chinese)

Zhu, L., X. Yang, G. Hao, Q. Huang, T. Liu, Z. Dai, Q. Wei, R.W. Lewthwaite & Y. Sun (2014). A review of the distribution of Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis in mainland China. Forktail 30: 45–49.