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Yunnan mountains
Country/Territory China (mainland),Myanmar
Area 190,000 
Altitude 1,500 - 4,000m  
Priority high 
Habitat loss major 
Knowledge incomplete 

General characteristics 

This EBA is centred around the Hengduan Shan (mountains) of northern Yunnan province in south-central China, but the ranges of some of the restricted-range birds extend into south-west Sichuan and western Guizhou provinces, south-east Tibet autonomous region and north-east Myanmar. Several large rivers cut through the EBA, producing a pattern of high mountain ridges separated by deep valleys. The restricted-range birds are patchily distributed on the ridges and valley slopes in a variety of habitats including coniferous forest and bamboo thickets. There is minor geographical overlap between the Yunnan mountains EBA and the Eastern Himalayas (EBA 130) in extreme western Yunnan, north-east Myanmar and south-east Tibet. This EBA is also adjacent to the Central Sichuan mountains (EBA 137) and West Sichuan mountains (EBA 138), but probably does not overlap geographically with either of them.

Restricted-range species 

The three restricted-range species vary in their habitat requirements and distributions. Sitta yunnanensis breeds in pine forest above 2,440

Species IUCN Category
White-speckled Laughingthrush (Garrulax bieti)  VU 
Brown-winged Parrotbill (Paradoxornis brunneus)  LC 
Yunnan Nuthatch (Sitta yunnanensis)  NT 

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

IBA Code Site Name Country
CN222  Muli  China (mainland) 
CN233  Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN236  Yulong Xueshan Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN241  Cang Shan Er Hai Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN243  Yunlong Tianchi Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN244  Gaoligongshan  China (mainland) 
CN249  Zixishan Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN250  Zhangmuqing Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN251  Wuliangshan  China (mainland) 
CN252  Konglonghe Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 
CN253  Ailaoshan  China (mainland) 
CN263  Longpeng Forest Farm  China (mainland) 
CN269  Fangshan Nature Reserve  China (mainland) 

Threats and conservation 

The forests of Yunnan are part of China's second most important region for forestry. However, loss of forest land here appears to be by far the worst in China, and forest cover in the province is estimated to have declined from c.55% in the early 1950s to c.30% in 1975, with annual consumption of wood being approximately double its growth rate (Smil 1984). Garrulax bieti is listed as threatened because of habitat loss within its highly restricted range, and Sitta yunnanensis because it is confined to pine forest, although it does appear able to adapt to degraded and secondary forest (M. Beaman in litt. 1993). More widespread threatened species which occur in the EBA are Giant Nuthatch Sitta magna (classified as Vulnerable; another pine forest specialist but with a relatively wide altitudinal range of 1,200-3,400

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: Yunnan mountains. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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