CBT Birding since 1999

Brief of Eco-geographical Distribution of Birds of China

(1)    Birds in forests of cold-temperate zone

The areas, including the northern part of Daxinganling Mountains and Altay Mountains of north of Xinjiang, are quite cold, the annual freezing season is long as 9 month, frostless season lasts 80/100 days and there are permanently frozen ground in some northern regions.

The different landscapes, conifers, grasslands, broadleaf forests and meadows, are interlaced, which attract some birds of cold-temperate zone for breeding.

The representative bird species are: Tetrao urogallus, T. tetrix, Lagopus lagopus, Bonasa bonasia, Aegolius funereus, Perisoreus infaustus, pinicola enucleator, Loxia curvirostra, L. leucoptera


(2)    Birds in conifer-broadleaf forest of temperate zone

The in conifer-broadleaf forest of temperate zone are widely distributed in mountain areas of the Northeast China, including Xiaoxinganling Mountains and Changbai Mountains.

The representative bird species are: north-type birds such as: Tetrao tetrix, Bonana bonanasia, Picoides tridactylus, Eophona personata and so on. Some south-type birds infiltrate into the region, such as: Accipiter virgatus, Cuculuc fugax, Ninox sctulata and Terpsiphone paradise.


(3)    Birds in shattering broadleaf forests of temperate zone

The region includes Shandong plain of North China and northern part of Liaoning with scattered forests. It is humid-hot in summer and dry-cold in winter.

The birds of north type and south type are infiltrated each other in the region and the bird species mainly distributed here are: Crossoptilon mantchuricum, Pucrasia macrolopha,Garrulax davida and Rhopophilus pekinensis.


(4)    Birds in evergreen broadleaf forests of sub-tropical zone

The region with evergreen broadleaf forests occupies one-third territory of China from Qinling Mountains-Huai River southward to the south part of Southern China, and from east coast westward to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

The north-type and south-type birds are widely infiltrated in the region. The Palaearctic bird species is in the ascendant in the north part of the region and the birds in the south are mainly Indian-Malaysian species. The higher west part in elevation are mainly occupied by the Palaearctic bide species and some highland bird species infiltrate into the region.


(5)    Birds in tropical monsoon rain forests and tropical rain forests

The difference between tropical monsoon rain forests and tropical rain forests is that the former is shattering with a drought season and the latter is not shattering all year. There are some tropical rain forests in the south parts of Yunnan, Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi and Taiwan, the southeast part of Tibet, and the parts of Nanyang island. These region have high temperature and is damp and hot with rich vegetations and without dominant species, which are only 3% territory of China in size but are rich in biological resources.


(6)    Birds in grasslands

The grassland in China extend westward to the middle part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from the west part of Northeast China through Inner Mongolia Highland and Loess Plateau, which show the transition of damp grasslands, dry grasslands and highland grasslands from Northeast to Southwest with difference of rainfall and humidity influenced by monsoon.

The main grass spcies are: Stipa spp., Aneurolepidium dasystachys,Agropyron cristatum, Koeleria cristata.


(7)    Birds of Highland

The region is over 4000m above sea level in average and over 3000m in the west part of Sichuan, including Qinghai, Tibet and west part of Sichuan, eastward to north part of Gaoligong Mountains.

The representative birds in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are highland species with some Palaearctic birds, including: Gyps himalayensis, Tetraogallus tibetanus, Lophophorus impejanus, L. ihuysii, Syrrhaptes tibetanus, Lanius tephronotus, Carduelis thibetanus, Carpodacus rubescens, T. himalayensis.


(8)    Birds of Wetland

Most of lakes located on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze river. There are 14000 hm mangroves along forelands of Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, Hongkong, Macao. These wetlands in different climate zones attract many birds to breed, winter and stop in migration.

There are the largest freshwater marshland in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia.

The upland wetlands of Northwest China have some Palaearctic, widespread and Middle-Asian waterfowl and wanders.

Some highland wetlands in Qinghai and Tibet are breeding or wintering areas of Grus nigricollis, which only distributes inQinghai-Tibet Plateau worldwide.

The wetlands of coast beaches from the south of Shuangtaizi Outfall to the estuary of Yellow River and to Hangzhou Estuaries, and of large inland lakes, such as Tongting Lake, Poyang lake, Taihu Lake and so on, are main breeding and wintering areas and migratory ways for waterfowl and waders.

The island along coasts and the islands of South China Sea and water areas nearby are very important breeding areas for sea birds.


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