(ORDO NEWS) — In less than two years, Chinese researchers have discovered 19 new biological species in the pilot zone of the Rainforest National Park in the southern province of China’s Hainan. This was announced on Thursday by the Hainan Daily newspaper.
This pilot zone was established in January 2019 to protect and restore the Hainan ecosystem. During this time, biologists have discovered nine new varieties of plants, as well as five species of animals and fungi. “This territory, which occupies one-seventh of the island, still hides many unknown secrets,” the newspaper notes.
In particular, last year, Chinese researchers discovered a new species of gecko on the island. A small lizard with four black and yellow stripes along its body was named Goniurosaurus sinensis. In addition, this year, scientists in Hainan discovered Thismia jianfengling ensis, a new species of tropical plant that resembles a tiny red Chinese lantern. In addition to researching new species, Hainan is making efforts to protect the unique living organisms that habitat the island’s rainforests, in particular the Hainan black crested gibbon and the Hainan newt.
The pilot zone of the Hainan Rainforest National Park covers an area of over 4.4 thousand square meters. km in the highlands in the central part of the island. It includes five state-level nature reserves and four provincial ones. Regional authorities plan to complete the creation of the Tropical Forest National Park on the island by the end of this year , which will attract even more tourists from China and other countries to Hainan.
According to official statistics, the total area of tropical forests in Hainan exceeded 659 thousand hectares in 2018. Since the 90s of the last century, the authorities have completely banned the felling of trees on the island, which made it possible to create vast areas protected by the state in the province. In April 2019, the provincial government established the Rainforest National Park Authority. The new agency was founded to strengthen the protection of natural resources of tropical forests, their systematic restoration and research.
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