Chapman N. (2008, MAy 8). Wild times in changing China. BBC News [online]. Available http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7385955.stm [2009, April 28]
China ; chinese wildlife ; traditional chinese medicine ; human encroachement ; wildlife extinction
China is a country that in some peoples' minds has become synonymous with industrial pollution, rigid political control and spectacular economic expansion.
But behind this image lies another world which is the real, essential China - a place of vast shifting deserts, tropical coral reefs, steaming jungles, snow-capped peaks, evergreen forests and smoking volcanoes.
And surviving, tucked away within this incredibly diverse landscape, is a wealth of animal and plant life.
China is home to 534 species of mammals - one eighth of the world's total, of which more than a hundred, including iconic creatures such as the giant panda, are endemic.
The country's birdlife is also extremely rich, with more than 1,300 species, whilst there are more than 2,200 species of fishes.
China's plant life is equally spectacular, with an amazing 32,800 species of higher plants, making China the third richest country in these terms after Malaysia and Brazil.
Many of the most beautiful ...