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January 2000 Issue
The Geographical Review
January 2000, Vol. 90 (1), pp. 83-111
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND BAMBOO MANAGEMENT IN CHINA'S SOUTHEAST UPLANDS
CHRISTOPHER R. COGGINS
Keywords: bamboo management, China, political ecology, wildlife
conservation, Wuyi-Daiyun Mountain Range.
The subtropical forests, grasslands, and wetlands of Southeast China's Wuyi- Daiyun Mountain Range provide essential habitats for diverse wildlife, including a dwindling population of tigers. Three primary protected areas, the Meihuashan,Wuyishan, and Longxishan Nature Reserves, contain varied wildlife habitats and also provide natural resources for 7,000 people in several dozen villages.A field-based study of land use and habitat quality in these reserves shows that anthropogenic bamboo forests are among the least valuable habitats for wildlife but that, as the primary source of household income, bamboo monoculture is spreading rapidly and replacing habitats of greater ecological value. Although authorities in Meihuashan have demarcated the many broadleaf forest patches for strict protection, household income and bamboo-management research in all three reserves suggests that successful habitat conservation may ultimately depend on more equitable systems of land tenure,improved cooperative cottage industries,and greater local economic diversification.