WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND BAMBOO MANAGEMENT IN CHINA'S SOUTHEAST UPLANDS*

Authors

  • Dr. CHRISTOPHER R. COGGINS

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      Dr. Coggins is an assistant professor of geography at Simon's Rock College of Bard, Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230–9702.


  • *

    This research was funded by the Committee on Scholarly Communication with China. I also gratefully acknowledge He Lian, for generous assistance with field research, and Huang Zhaofeng, Barry Keim, Sophia Xethalis, Stan Stevens, Tanya Kalischer, Paul Starrs, and Carolyn Cartier for advice and support during various phases of the research and writing.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. The subtropical forests, grasslands, and wetlands of Southeast China's Wuyi-Daiyun Mountain Range provide essential habitats for diverse wildlife, including a dwindling population of tigers. Three primary protected areas, the Meihuashan, Wuyishan, and Longxishan Nature Reserves, contain varied wildlife habitats and also provide natural resources for 7,000 people in several dozen villages. A field-based study of land use and habitat quality in these reserves shows that anthropogenic bamboo forests are among the least valuable habitats for wildlife but that, as the primary source of household income, bamboo monoculture is spreading rapidly and replacing habitats of greater ecological value. Although authorities in Meihuashan have demarcated the many broadleaf forest patches for strict protection, household income and bamboo-management research in all three reserves suggests that successful habitat conservation may ultimately depend on more equitable systems of land tenure, improved cooperative cottage industries, and greater local economic diversification.

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