Biodiversity decline not yet halted

While the endangered status of some species in China is improving, “the overall trend of biodiversity decline has not been reversed,” according to Xinhua

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 species and their subdivisions have been newly recorded in an annual list of China‘s biodiversity which now totals 148,674 species and subdivisions. 

This year’s edition of the list was unveiled on Monday 22nd by the Committee on Biological Diversity of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). 

Ma Keping, vice president and secretary-general of the committee, said the list would help promote biodiversity research and conservation, The Paper reported. 

The committee has been collating publicly available data on species in China since 2008, with each entry confirmed by taxonomic experts. Xinhua states that China is the only country that publishes a species list every year.

The hotspots for newly identified species were Yunnan, Tibet, Guangxi, Guangdong and Sichuan. Of the more than 10,000 new entries, 8,522 were fungi.

Liu Bing, an associate researcher at the CAS Institute of Botany, told the media that improved transport access, species reclassification, and ecological recovery have fuelled the recording of species. 

On the same day, updated versions of the higher plants and vertebrates volumes of the China Biodiversity Red List, which is modelled on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, were officially released to the public.

This assessment shows that 4,088 species (10.39%) of higher plants and 1,050 (22.02%) of vertebrates are threatened. Meanwhile, nearly 500 species have seen a reduction in threat level.

Read our earlier reports on four new fungi species being discovered on a single bat in Yunnan and on the COP15 agreement to protect biodiversity.