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Baotianman Biosphere Reserve, China

Baotianman is located in Heinen Province in the headwaters of the Yangze, Huaihe and Yellow Rivers. It falls in the transition region between the northern sub-tropical areas and the warm temperate areas. Biologically, this is one of the richest sites in China where numerous plant and animal species are raised, notably for food and traditional medicine. Eco-tourism in the biosphere reserve directly increases the economic income of local communities through family hotels, catering services, sales of non-wood forest products and local products such as mushrooms, wild vegetables and fruits, as well as handicrafts, and Chinese herbal medicines.

Designation date: 2001

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Regional network: East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN)

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 90,950 ha

    • Core area(s) : 25,250 ha
    • Buffer zone(s) : 30,600 ha
    • Tansition zone(s): 35,100 ha

    Location: 33°27'1"N - 111°53'E

    Administrative authorities

    Henan Baotianman National Biosphere Reserve Administration
    3, Nanyang Road, Tuandong Town
    Neixiang County 474350

    Tel.: +86 470-3998787


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    Ecological Characteristics

    Baotianman Biosphere Reserve stands 360-1830 m above the sea level. In this vast ecological space, the strongly undulating terrain and diverse types of landforms create a variety of bio-climatic environment with a full range of typical warm-temperate natural landscape and typical climate features of the transition zone. There are three land cover types including residential areas, forest land and agricultural land. Alpine wetlands and marshes covering the forest area in the high mountains vary in sizes and form unique forest habitats. They are dottedly distributed, ranging from over 10 square meters to hundreds square meters. Alpine wetlands and marshes have an important role in species diversity conservation, carbon sequestration and oxygen release, water conservation and other ecological functions.

    There are 105 species of rare and endangered plants, among which 24 species are national key protected plants. The Reserve boasts rich animal resources, with 359 species of wild vertebrates from 83 families and 32 orders. 41 species of animals are rare and threatened. The biosphere reserve also embraces a variety of traditional species, and fauna and flora resources of vital commercial significance. For instance, Fructus Corni, a traditional medicinal herb, is the main source of nourishing medicine like Liuwei Dihuang Pill; Magnolia is a medicinal herb that can be made into seasonings and cosmetics; kiwi fruit, wild fruit distributed in Funiu Mountain, are raw materials for natural beverages and food.


    Socio-economic characteristics

    Baotianman Biosphere Reserve buffer zone accommodates 45 villagers from 9 villages reliant on agricultural and forestry production. Community residents mainly grow wheat, corn, sweet potatoes and crops, and Chinese herbal medicine like Fructus Corni. In the Transition Area, there are 5812 people from 4 townships (towns), among whom, the seasonal population is composed of migrant workers and non-native staff engaged in small construction projects.

    Han Chinese account for more than 85% of the total population, and Hui and Mongolian Chinese occupy a very small part. They make a living from collecting Chinese medicinal plants, selling wild fruits, making tea using native plant species (e.g. Rabdosia rubescens, Gynostemma pentaphyllum), and cultivating edible mushrooms. Commercial forestry is also being developed. However, farming is still very important activity in and around the biosphere reserve. Eco-tourism directly increases the economic income of local communities. In addition, close relationships are built up with other natural reserves in order to share experience in management, involvement in scientific research projects and information exchange.



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    Last updated: July 2019