Galliformes – barometers of the state of applied ecology and wildlife conservation in China

Authors

  • Philip J. K. McGowan,

    1. World Pheasant Association, Newcastle University Biology Field Station, Close House, Heddon on the Wall, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 0HT, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yan-Yun Zhang,

    1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Sciences and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zheng-Wang Zhang

    1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Sciences and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    Search for more papers by this author

*Correspondence author. E-mail: director@pheasant.org.uk

Summary

  • 1Human population pressure is placing huge demands on China's environment. In recent years, the Chinese government has established a suite of programmes designed to meet these challenges and one such programme is the Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserves Development Programme launched in 2001. This is intended to safeguard the future of some of the country's highest profile and most threatened species.
  • 2The avian Order Galliformes (pheasants and their relatives) are one such high-profile group and 38 of the 63 species that occur in China are listed as nationally protected. This is the most studied group of birds in the country and some of this research has contributed directly to informing conservation management and policy at all administrative levels.
  • 3There are examples of communication and collaboration between researchers in China and those from other countries since the late 1970s. However, there is now a pressing need for increased and more structured collaboration to take advantage of current opportunities to strengthen applied ecology in China and thus provide greater scientific input to environmental policy and decision-making.
  • 4Synthesis and applications. China is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and faces substantial environmental challenges because of human population pressure. Applied ecological research is increasingly informing policy and decision-making at all administrative levels. Strengthening China's applied ecology base therefore offers unprecedented opportunities. International collaborative research programmes have substantial potential to develop high quality research and train talented young Chinese researchers, both of which will substantially enhance the quality of science informing China's biodiversity conservation policy.

Ancillary