(ECNS) -- The checklist of new and newly recorded species in Yunnan (1992-2020) (herein after referred to as Checklist), issued by the Department of Ecology and Environment of Yunnan Province, was released at the press conference of the 2021 International Biodiversity Day on May 22 in Kunming.
As introduced,the rich biodiversity of Yunnan has been nurtured by its special geographical location, diverse topographic and climatic environment. With the continuous improvement of the ecological environment and the profound scientific research, a larger number of species have been discovered or newly recorded here.
The Checklist 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 Kunmingin 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 statistics, a total of 3,718 new species have been discovered in Yunnan Province, including 2,519 new species and 1,199 newly recorded species, 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 has not been found and published until 2017.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. 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. 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.
"Biodiversity protection and ecological safety in Yunnan is critical for the national development and interest, as well as the regional ecological security", said an official from Department of Ecology and Environment of Yunnan Province. Through long-term practice, Yunnan has initially developed a protection system with co-construction, co-management and sharing, and has made remarkable achievements in biodiversity conservation.
"At a new starting point and new stage, Yunnan will take the opportunity of collaborative preparation for the successful COP15 conference, striving to be a leader in biodiversity conservation and build a national biodiversity protection model area," said an official at the press conference.