Within the Palearctic Region, China has a remarkably rich fauna of songbirds. Not only is there a high number of species (about 600), but even more important is the fact that a high percentage of these species is endemic to China. Species that inhabit extremely small areas of distribution include warblers, chickadees (tits), parrotbills, rosefinches, babblers and many other groups. These small distributional areas are a contributing factor to many of them being highly endangered with extinction. Within China, 12 Endemic Bird Areas or “hot spots” of the country’s highest bird species diversity have been defined. Of these areas, those at the northern and eastern rim of the Tibetan Plateau are most noteworthy, and they harbor about 30 endemic species. The Lianhuashan Reserve is situated in the eastern part of one Endemic Bird Area‚ called the “Quinghai Mountains”. Lianhuashan and other Chinese mountains offer ample possibilities to learn about the complicated and complex evolution and speciation of the passerine birds of China. It offers ample possibilities for ecological and evolutionary research.
In May, this colorful female crested tit-warbler collects material for its nest
Ten species of the genus Phylloscopus
, the leaf-warblers, have been found so far in Lianhuashan, including the endemic Gansu leaf warbler, Phylloscopus kansuensis
and Yunnan leaf warbler, Phylloscopus yunnanensis
, two species of the Pallas’ warbler group, Phylloscopus proregulus