Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves

Shi Ping GONG, Hai Tao SHI, Ai Wu JIANG, Jonathan FONG, Daniel GAILLARD, Ji Chao WANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

China ranks first among Northern hemisphere countries for species richness, but approximately 43% of its species are threatened [1], with harvesting being the major threat to vertebrates [2]. To protect its biodiversity, China has established about 2,700 nature reserves covering 1.46 million km2 (about 15% of China's territory, a percentage higher than the world average [3]). With increasing habitat destruction and harvesting, nature reserves are the final refugia for threatened species. However, many Chinese nature reserves are poorly managed, leaving them vulnerable to poaching and other human encroachment [4]. In this study, we conducted a 12-year (2002–2013) case study on turtles to illustrate the damaging impacts China's nature reserves have on wildlife conservation. We discovered that poaching occurred in all of the 56 reserves surveyed, resulting in dramatically reduced turtle populations. In a majority of the reserves, the reserve staff themselves were involved in poaching. Although nature reserves were created to protect plants and animals, they have become part of the problem due to weak enforcement of rules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R170-R171
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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Turtles
turtles
China
conservation areas
Endangered Species
Biodiversity
Conservation
Animals
Ecosystem
wildlife management
Vertebrates
threatened species
refuge habitats
habitat destruction
vertebrates
biodiversity
case studies
species diversity
Population
animals

Cite this

GONG, S. P., SHI, H. T., JIANG, A. W., FONG, J., GAILLARD, D., & WANG, J. C. (2017). Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves. Current Biology, 27(5), R170-R171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.039
GONG, Shi Ping ; SHI, Hai Tao ; JIANG, Ai Wu ; FONG, Jonathan ; GAILLARD, Daniel ; WANG, Ji Chao. / Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves. In: Current Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 27, No. 5. pp. R170-R171.
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title = "Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves",
abstract = "China ranks first among Northern hemisphere countries for species richness, but approximately 43{\%} of its species are threatened [1], with harvesting being the major threat to vertebrates [2]. To protect its biodiversity, China has established about 2,700 nature reserves covering 1.46 million km2 (about 15{\%} of China's territory, a percentage higher than the world average [3]). With increasing habitat destruction and harvesting, nature reserves are the final refugia for threatened species. However, many Chinese nature reserves are poorly managed, leaving them vulnerable to poaching and other human encroachment [4]. In this study, we conducted a 12-year (2002–2013) case study on turtles to illustrate the damaging impacts China's nature reserves have on wildlife conservation. We discovered that poaching occurred in all of the 56 reserves surveyed, resulting in dramatically reduced turtle populations. In a majority of the reserves, the reserve staff themselves were involved in poaching. Although nature reserves were created to protect plants and animals, they have become part of the problem due to weak enforcement of rules.",
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GONG, SP, SHI, HT, JIANG, AW, FONG, J, GAILLARD, D & WANG, JC 2017, 'Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves', Current Biology, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. R170-R171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.039

Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves. / GONG, Shi Ping; SHI, Hai Tao; JIANG, Ai Wu; FONG, Jonathan; GAILLARD, Daniel; WANG, Ji Chao.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 27, No. 5, 01.03.2017, p. R170-R171.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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T1 - Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves

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AU - WANG, Ji Chao

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AB - China ranks first among Northern hemisphere countries for species richness, but approximately 43% of its species are threatened [1], with harvesting being the major threat to vertebrates [2]. To protect its biodiversity, China has established about 2,700 nature reserves covering 1.46 million km2 (about 15% of China's territory, a percentage higher than the world average [3]). With increasing habitat destruction and harvesting, nature reserves are the final refugia for threatened species. However, many Chinese nature reserves are poorly managed, leaving them vulnerable to poaching and other human encroachment [4]. In this study, we conducted a 12-year (2002–2013) case study on turtles to illustrate the damaging impacts China's nature reserves have on wildlife conservation. We discovered that poaching occurred in all of the 56 reserves surveyed, resulting in dramatically reduced turtle populations. In a majority of the reserves, the reserve staff themselves were involved in poaching. Although nature reserves were created to protect plants and animals, they have become part of the problem due to weak enforcement of rules.

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