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Biodiversity conservation and a conception for a national desert park in Dzungaria Basin, Xinjiang

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Author(s): Haiping Tang | Lijuan Yan | Xinshi Zhang

Journal: Biodiversity Science
ISSN 1005-0094

Volume: 16;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 618;
Date: 2008;

Keywords: community type | ephemeral plants | wild ungulate animals | nature reserve | national desert park | management system

ABSTRACT
Dzungaria Basin in Xinjiang possesses the most abundant biological resources of animals and plants among the temperate deserts in the world. It has been influenced negatively by the human disturbance such as overgrazing, farming, wood harvesting, digging herbs and illegal hunting as well as by the rapid industrial development for mineral and energy resources such as oil and coal. A plan for biodiversity conservation is so urgent for the basin that the contradiction between biodiversity protection and economic development can be solved. Here, we propose a conception for a national desert park in the basin. Firstly, the boundary of the Dzungaria Basin was determined through topographic mapping, field investigation, and historical data. Secondly, the current biological diversity in terms of the desert vegetation types, ephemeral plant species, and the wildlife was then analyzed in details. The most important items in the plan include three types of desert vegetation (such as dwarf semi-arboreous desert, shrub desert and semi-shrub, and dwarf semi-shrub desert), the ephemeral plant resources and the wild ungulate animals like Equus przewalskii as representative. Thirdly, the feasibility of biodiversity conservation was also analyzed based on the distribution of key areas for further development of energy and mineral resources, the current status of nature reserves and the international experience of national preserves. Finally, the schematic planning of the national desert park, legislation, demarcation of the ecological red-line zone, management system, and the cooperation management of different departments were generally discussed for the establishment of Dzungaria National Desert Park.
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