The Qinling Mountains, ranging 1,600 km long from east to west and 300 km wide from north to south in central China, is also known as the natural boundary between the north and the south of China due to its unique climate and geographic location. The area is extremely rich in biodiversity. They are home to 3,800 species of plants and 530 species of animals, including famous ones such as the giant panda, snub-nosed monkey, takin, crested ibis and black stork. In addition, it has abundant mineral resources, such as molybdenum, nickel, and limestone.
The Chinese Government has attached great importance to ecological protection in the Qinling Mountains. At present 176 varieties of plants and 120 animals have been placed on the list of national or provincial-level key protection, and more than 510 protection units have been built, including national parks, natural reserves, drinking water source reserves, scenic spots, geological parks, wetland parks, and cultural protection units.
In his inspection tour to Shaanxi Province in April 2020, President Xi Jinping stressed environmental protection and ecosystem restoration of the Qinling Mountains should be given top priority, and all departments and officials involved must serve as guardians of the ecological environment, so that the lush mountains, lucid waters and beautiful scenery will remain.
Since the Qinling Mountains are mainly located in Shaanxi, the government of the province has assumed responsibility for protecting the area. Laws and regulations are formulated to protect the ecological environment of the Qinling Mountains, special agencies are established and input from local governments at all levels keeps increasing. In the past few years, Shaanxi has launched a special campaign to crack down on illegal activities that damage the ecosystem of the Qinling Mountains. And remarkable results have been achieved in the protection of wildlife with animal and plant populations continuing to recover.
The ecological protection of the Qinling Mountains, however, still faces severe challenges. For instance, due to frequent rainstorms and volatile fluctuations of water levels, the problem of soil erosion is very serious in the Qinling Mountains. In addition, human activities, especially legacy resource development, have imposed serious damage on the ecosystem of the mountains. Protecting the Qinling Mountains is in the interest of current and future generations.