Hainan is China’s most southern and largest tropical region, and is also the location of China’s largest, most biodiverse, and most well preserved tropical rainforest. Forest coverage in Hainan reaches 62%, and these vast, lush, and beautiful forests are an excellent sightseeing, camping, hiking, and exploring destination for nature lovers.
Hainan currently boasts 8,147 square miles of woodlands, with a total forested area of 8165 square miles. 2,546 square miles of this forested area is natural tropical forest, with over 515 square miles of completely intact original growth forest. In addition, there are 5 main types of coastal and inland wetlands, totaling 1,236 square miles. Hainan has unique tropical mountain rainforests and a monsoon forest ecosystem, with complex vegetation, plentiful wild plants and animals, excellent biodiversity, functioning as a tropical plant species gene bank and known as a butterfly paradise.
Vegetation grows very quickly in Hainan, and the variety of plant species is quite large. Hainan is the native home of natural tropical rainforests and tropical monsoon forests. There are currently 4,600 distinct plant species in the province, 1/7th of the total plant species of China, and 630 of these plant species are only found in Hainan. Of these 4,600 plant species, 2,500 have been found to have medicinal uses. There are 2,000 species of trees and shrubs, and 800 of these have a high economic value. Twenty Hainan tree species are classified as national key protected species. There are 142 types of fruit tree (including wild fruit trees), 70 types of aromatics, and 200 types of ornamentals. The vast majority of Hainan’s plant species are found in the rainforest. The plant ecosystem of the tropical rainforest is very complex, with quite different species found at different elevations. The main tropical rainforests of Hainan are found in Wuzhi Mountain, Jianfeng Peak, Bawang Peak, Diaoluo Mountain, and Limu Mountain, with Wuzhi Mountain having the most undisturbed original rainforests.
Hainan is also an animal paradise, and the lush green, tropical island landscape supports many unique animal species including the Eld’s Deer, Hainan Gibbon, thousands of macaques, and clouded leopards. This is an excellent eco-tourism destination, and all visitors are encouraged to treasure and work together with the local Hainan people to protect and preserve these precious rare animals.
There are a total of 24 forest and wild animal preserves in Hainan, covering a total area of 236909.3 hectares. Six more nature reserves are being planned, in Maorui, Kafa, baima Ridge, Nangao Ridge, and Exian Ridge. In the next five years, the number of nature reserves will grow to 30, and they will occupy around 8% of the total area of Hainan Province.
In addition to national and provincial nature reserves, eighteen smaller protected areas have been set up to protect the precious local plants and animals in different parts of Hainan, and 1,250 non-governmental protected areas have been established as well, including Guyue Villa in Qiongzhong, Mingren Mountain Area in Wenchang, Egret Paradise in Danzhou, and more.
567 species of land animals live in Hainan, including 37 species of amphibians (11 of which are only found here), 104 species of reptiles, 344 species of birds, 82 species of mammals (21 of which are only found in Hainan). The highly endangered Hainan Gibbon and Eld’s deer are native to Hainan, and macaques, Asiatic black bears, clouded leopards, and many more fascinating animals all call Hainan home.
Seven Grade One State protected species, 22 Province Level protected species are found in Hainan.