Changbaishan Biosphere Reserve is located in the north-east of China at the border to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Vegetation within the area changes with its altitude (720 to 2,691 meters above sea level), covering deciduous forest, mixed coniferous-broadleaf forest with Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), coniferous forest, dwarf-birch forest and alpine tundra. The plant species comprise European, Siberian and central Chinese species, and include 1,800 species of vascular plants. The biosphere reserve also provides habitat for the North East Asian tiger (Panthera tigris longipilis), the largest tiger subspecies in the world.
About 2,000 inhabitants live in the biosphere reserve (1997). Tourism has become a key activity. The biosphere reserve is working with local communities to diversify local economy, for instance through the cultivation of economic and medicinal plants. Several human activities infringe the biodiversity, for example tiger poaching and the collection of plants (e.g. Panax ginseng). The local population’s low income and its poor education are thought to be the main threats to biodiversity. In order to increase public awareness, a Nature museum and an Information center have been established as dissemination points for environmental education. Read more about this reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.
© Profile picture: Carrie Kellenberger