Sichuan Forest Biodiversity Project

The broadleaf forests of Sichuan are areas of exceptional biodiversity, providing refuge for species including red and giant pandas and endemic birds such as the Sichuan partridge. They are also internationally important areas for migrating birds.

The Sichuan Forest Biodiversity Project (SFBP) is a collaboration between Chester Zoo and the Sichuan Forest Department to enhance the protected area network and engage local people in sustainable management and development in the Liang Shan region of Sichuan, China. The project, which has been running since 2002 has helped to establish and protect five forest reserves.

Working with local communities

Working closely with local communities the project involves a number of community-based sustainability initiatives which work to reduce dependency on forest resources. The project has installed 30 biogas stoves in the Long Ba and Long Xi villages which reduce the collection of fire wood for cooking stoves by 85-90%.

Another community project focuses on providing an alternative livelihood for local people at Heizhugou through bee-keeping, designed to further reduce dependence on forest resources. We also work with the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base to increase public awareness through their education programme.

Species monitoring

The forests of Sichuan are home to a number of endemic and endangered pheasants and partridges species. The SFBP has been monitoring galliforme populations since 2008 with the aim to compare this data to changes in management and protection.

Using camera traps, SFBP continues to monitor many other species within the reserves. Since monitoring began camera traps have revealed the first ever photographic evidence of both giant pandas and blue-fronted robins in the Mamize nature reserve, representing a southern range extension of this elusive endemic robin.

Photo credit: Temmincks tragopan (c) Doug Janson
Photo credit: Lady Amhurst's pheasant (c) Kev Chapman

Project partners

Sichuan Forest Department 

Project team

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Key Facts

Of the five reserves this project focuses on, two have now been upgraded to National Nature Reserve status
Liangshan is an important area on the migratory route for birds between far-east Russia & Indonesia
The area is designated as one of Conservation International's Biodiversity Hotspots

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