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Elevational and latitudinal patterns of species richness for birds and mammals were compared with human population density in relation to nature reserve designation in two areas of Yunnan Province, China. Results suggest that species richness is not the same for the two areas. In Gaoligongshan Region, species richness is inversely correlated with elevation and altitude, while reserve designation is positively correlated with elevation and latitude. In Jingdong County, reserve designations are positively correlated with elevation, but species richness shows no clear trends. In general, the present situation is strongly influenced by human activities. It appears that reserve designation is mismatched with species richness in Gaoligongshan Region, while there is a better fit between the two in Jingdong County. In both areas, however, it appeared that reserves were located primarily in order to reduce conflict with humans rather than to maximize conservation of biodiversity, probably because humans were responsible for forest - especially primary forest - destruction and degradation in the low-lying areas.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





275 - 286