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Foping National Nature Reserve in

Shaanxi

Foping National Nature Reserve (FNNR) is located on the southern slope of the middle range of the Qinling Mountains (33º33´–33º46´N, 107º41´–107º55´E), Shaanxi Province, China. It was established in 1978 authorised by State Council for protecting Gaint Panda and its eco-system, the Nature Reserve covers 35000 hectare and is under leadship of the State Forest Bureau.

The main function of the FNNR is to protect the giant panda population and its habitat. The reserve covers an area of approximately 292.4 sq.km, and the elevation ranges from about 980 m to 2900 m. Vegetation types in the reserve include conifer forests, mixed conifer and broadleaf forests, deciduous broadleaf forests, shrub and meadow. There are two dominant bamboo species, which comprise the pandas’ staple food, namely Bashania fargesii and Fargesia qinlingensis. They are mostly understorey species, and only Fargesia qinlingensis appears as pure bamboo groves at the top of the mountain. The distribution of the two species varies with elevation. Bashania fargesii occurs mostly below 1900 m, while Fargesia qinlingensis is located at higher altitudes of more than 1900m. More than 330 vertebrates and plants were found in the reserve. FNNR is the core zone of the giant panda’s distribution area in the Qinling Mountains, where about 80 giant pandas occur. The reserve is a member of the UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves. FNNR is recognized as ‘Homeland of the Qinling Giant Panda’ and ‘Original place of Chinese Cornus’. This place is also labelled as ‘Wildlife and Gene Resources Bank’ as well as ‘Ecotourism Resort’.

 

       Situated in Foping County, Shaanxi Province, the natural reserve covers an area of 29240 hectares. The establishment thereof was approved by the State Council in 1978 to mainly protect giant pandas and the ecological system in the forest. It is located on the south slope of the middle section of Qinling Mountain with its highest peak being 2904 meters above sea level and relative height difference being over 1900 meters. The reserve has numerous mountains, moderate climate, primitive and unsophisticated landscape and extremely abundant resources of animals and plants. Higher plants amount to 1580 species and higher animals total 265 kinds.

Foping National Nature Reserve in Shaanxi Foping County, Shaanxi Province is located in the north-west, located in the southern slope of Qinling Mountains, east longitude 107. 40' - 107. 55 ',  latitude 33. 33' - 33. 46'.  Depth of 24.8 kilometers East and West,North-South horizontal extension of 22.0 kilometers, an area of 29.24 thousand hectares.  Is a giant panda, golden monkey, takin, crested ibis and other rare animals, mainly scientific expedition, adventure, outdoor pursuit, and primary forests, exotic flowers, charming scenery viewing mainly a nature reserve.  2004 accession to the UNESCO "Man and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves", has won the World Tourism Organization, "Green Globe 21" Certification.  China Biodiversity Conservation Fund has been approved by the Council as a demonstration base of biological diversity.  In China nearly 2,000 nature reserves in the central sector is a straight tube, one of the three protected areas, has awarded China's "first beam Xi Kepu Award."
      Qinling complex topography, diverse climate and environment, east-west mountain ranges, in the glacial cold air to the north and south of the barrier, as well as mixed fauna of the intersection, and carries an extremely rich biological diversity, and thus become the world's species in the Qinling "natural gene pool ", including giant panda, golden monkey, takin, South China tiger, Crested Ibis, uniflora, yew, Magnolia officinalis, Davidia involucrata such a large number of rare and endangered plant and animal species. 
           Foping Nature Reserve is located in the heart of the Qinling giant panda distribution, population density, the highest in the nation, met the highest rate of the wild.  Existing in several isolated populations of giant pandas in Qinling giant pandas represents the primitive types, and in appearance is the most beautiful form of a family, was identified as the Qinling subspecies.  Foping Nature Reserve is the Qinling giant panda research base in the field to ensure that the natural state of the pandas to their homes and the "bamboo forest recluse,"
Hailed as "national treasures" of the giant panda, is China's most precious animals. Panda also known as the "panda" and "The Bear." Are breast-feeding program, the panda Branch. Of obesity, and Luexiao the shape of bears, are about 1.5 metres and weighing about 100-150 kilograms, short tail, and the luster of hair, the general eye-and ear, the former hind legs and shoulders hair is black and the rest are white. Life at an altitude of 2000-4000 meters high bamboo, the preference bamboo leaves, bark, and so on. Of loneliness, not migratory group. Shaanxi's giant pandas are mainly distributed, in addition to Foping County, Yangxian, Ningshan, Taibai, and Zhouzhi counties in the Qinling mountains. According to visual surveys during the year 1975, preliminary projections Shaanxi only a total of more than 260 giant pandas, the number has increased.

the viability of the wild.  Qinling fauna in the flagship species are giant pandas, and as flagship species, protective effect, but also to protect the 87 kinds of mammals, 340 kinds of birds.  Protected areas, because Japan is geographically located in the animal community and the ancient crossroads of the northern boundary, the habitat quality, not only species richness, but also has a clear transition.  Region without cold winter, summer without heat, warm and humid climate ,980-2904 meters high altitude drop, creating a clear vertical zonation of vegetation, there are higher plants, 242 Section 777 is a 1769 kinds, plants that have boundless woodlands constitutes a heavy Luan peaks, beautiful scenery, spectacular scenery of enchanting.
     Main attractions include: Black Longtan Waterfall days Itabashi waterfall group, the empress Lake, Laojun Lake, Optimus Prime and watch the monkey sets a tree king, giant panda rescue center and free-range breeding grounds, flower house ruins.

The ecosystem within the reserve is complex where red pine, firs, water willow tree, single-leaf grass are under national key protection. Furthermore, economic useful plants are over 700 species, the herbs medicines are more than 400 species. Higher plants cover 1,580 species, of which 30 species of bryophyte, 71 species of fern, 20 species of gymnosperm, and 1,459 species of angiosperm. There are 20 species of plants are under state protection.

 
 
FPNR lies in the transitive area from subtropic to temperate zone, the climate is warm and moist under influence of monsoon, the average temperature of a year is about 13? and with range of -2? to 27?, annual precipitation is in a range of 950~1200mm, the lack-frost duration is lasted 180~220 days in a year, but in recent year, flood disaster occurred frequently, most rainfall are appeared during July, August and September.

To view wildlife is the greatest attraction in Foping Nature Reserve. But it is not an easy tour. It's about 200km ride from Xian in the steep valleys. To reach the core zone, you still need to hike 8km to the Reserve station where very basic accommodations are available. But the beautiful view and good chance to see panda will make it worthy. It will be a very special experience to hike around and explour.

With beautiful scenery, the nature reserve is a very good place for tourists to visit. The Luban Peak are around by cloud, the glacial remains show in an incredible shape. An large waterfall goes down into a deep pool named Niangniangtan, and a hole nearby the Niangniangtan has a very beautiful name, Jade Lady. Rare and pretty species of mammals and birds will attract your attention when you walk in the forest. With so many beautiful things that you simply cannot take them all in, you may forget to come back if you visit Foping Nature Reserve.

For ten years construction, Foping Nature Reserve has become an education site for tourist and local people. The exhibition room and specimens of animals and plants show the people rich fauna and flora of Qinling Mountains. Guest house, restaurant, store and clinic are available for tourists. There are six camping sites located in Luban Peak and Three Immortals Peak, tourists can camp there. The accommodation of conservation stations within the Nature Reserve is quite good for tourist too.

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