Building peace in the minds of men and women

Gaoligong Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China

Goaligong Mountain is located in the Szechwan Highlands in the southern part of China. Its highest elevation reaches over 4,000 metres and this upper part of the mountain is designated as the core area. Evergreen broad-leaved forests, deciduous forests and bamboo woodlands are characteristic of the region. Because of the difficulty to reach the area, the forests and the wildlife are well protected. The reserve is also known for its rich history and diverse national customs.

Designation date: 2000

Photo gallery ǀ  Press release


Regional network: East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN)

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 335,549 ha

    • Core area(s) : 183,789 ha
    • Buffer zone(s) : 142,611 ha
    • Tansition zone(s): 9,148 ha

    Location: 25°56'30"N - 98°30'00"E

    Administrative authorities

    Gaoligong Mountain National Natural Reserve
    Jinshan Road, Longyang District
    Baoshan City, Yunnan Province

    Tel.: +86 875-2134968


    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter

    Ecological Characteristics

    Mountains in the Biosphere Reserve have been subject to many orogenic cycles such as rises and fall, folds, faults, denudation and planation. The altitude of mountains was uplifted again after the planation at the beginning of the Cenozoic era and under the impact of Himalaya orogenic cycle. The highest peak in the area, namely Gawagapu peak has an altitude of 5,126 meters and the lowest peak with an altitude of 600 meters (Nujiang). The mountainous region in which the Reserve lies has a complicated internal structure, including high mountains under the influence of glacier and tundra, subalpine zone under the combined influence of water flow and glacier, middle mountains under the influence of water flow, valley alluvial fan and terrace land along the valley as well as glacier and tundra topography.

    Main types of habitats in the Reserve are forests, grasslands, rocky streams, rivers and lakes. Forest lands reaches 90.4% of the total area. Abundant plant resources including 4897 species and varieties, 1196 genera in 256 families of higher plants have been recorded here. There are also 699 kinds of vertebrates, including 154 species of mammals, 419 species of birds, 21 species of amphibians, 56 species of reptiles, 49 species of fish and 1,690 kinds of insects.


    Socio-economic characteristics

    There are a total of 109 villages covering a population of 213600 in the reserve. The reserve is surrounded by multi-ethnic neighborhood, with inhabitants of 16 nationalities, including Han, Dai, Lisu, Nu, back, white, Miao, Naxi, Dulong, Yi, Zhuang, Achang, Jingpo, Wa, Deang, and Tibetan. Among them, the Han population is slightly larger and Tibetan population is only in Gongshan County. However, there are no significant differences in the economic activities of various ethnic groups. They mainly are engaged in primary industry such as planting and aquaculture, complemented by secondary industry such as small-scale processing in wood processing plants, sugar plants, silicon plants, tea factories, distillery, brick works and tertiary industry such as private catering services, transportation, and commerce. A very small number of villagers get into the reserve for various bees and honey collection. People are grazing cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and other livestock closer to the reserve or in the experimental areas.

    Gaoligong Mountain boasts rich history and culture and diverse national customs. Many Neolithic sites have been found in both sites of the reserve recently. Archaeological proof shows there was densely populated original crowd living in this area 4000 years ago, and in particular, the ancient ruins and well preserved Southern Silk Road (Shu Road) also demonstrate the ancient civilization. Past and planned scientific research focuses on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of local communities.


    Back to Biosphere Reserves in China
    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Asia and the Pacific
    Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: July 2019