With sound protection, Cycads populations in China on steady rise
Web Editor:International daily
The populations of cycads in the wild in China saw steady growth in recent years thanks to the country's determined protection efforts, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. Cycads are the oldest gymnosperms existing on earth which have a long fossil history of some 280 million years. Cycads all over the world are in decline. There are 24 species of cycads found in China, all listed as wild plants under national first-class protection. In 1983, the Sichuan Panzhihua Cycas National Nature Reserve was established, which is currently the only national nature reserve in China that takes cycas as the main object of protection. As the ancient remnant species unique to China, Cycas panzhihuaensis grows and prospers here. "Our Panzhihua Cycas has survived the Quaternary Glaciation in this place. It possesses important research value for the study of paleontology, paleogeology and paleoclimate," said Yu Zhixiang, a staff member of the reserve. To bring the endangered species back from brink, China has stepped up protection efforts through establishing nature reserves, enhancing habitat protection and patrols and building artificial breeding bases and other facilities. According to official data, the number of Cycas panzhihuaensis has gone up from 234,000 between the 1980s and the 1990s to 385,000 at present, making it the natural cycad population with the northernmost latitude, the highest elevation, the largest area, the largest number of plants, and the most concentrated distribution in Eurasia.