Fauna of China is impossible to avoid as it is very rich with it. Various animals of China are present everywhere. Wherever you are traveling or living in China you will encounter some animals. In:  cities( cats, dogs, ducks, sparrows and other birds), grasslands( horses, various birds) wetlands( cranes, storks, pelicans), forests  and mountains( deer, monkeys,  snakes, birds, wild goats, yaks, wild cats) and in rivers and lakes various types of fishes. There are really many of them which are present in other countries or at least similar to those in other countries.

But in China like in world there are some endemic and endangered species which we will mention today. At least some of them will be mentioned those who are really rare, specific and endangered.


Giant Panda- a most famous and cutest before endangered ( till September 2016) and now vulnerable animal. Historically they lived across Sichuan, Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Gansu, Hubei, Shanxi, Shaanxi and northern areas of Burma and Vietnam. Today they live only in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi in 20 bamboo forests in mountains of these provinces. They can only live in bamboo forests since bamboo is their major source of food. There are more than 60 centers across China which take care of pandas, their breeding and well being in their natural habitats. Thanks to conservational efforts of Chinese government these cute  and large creatures are not endangered anymore, but still are vulnerable and care must be taken of them.


Red Panda

Another cute animal from China. It is not related to giant panda but reminds on raccoon. They eat bamboo, eggs and birds. There are about 10 000 red pandas in wild while in sanctuaries there are more of them.  They mostly live in Sichuan, Yunnan, Shaanxi and Tibet. Because of disappearance of natural forests Chinese government strictly controls and conserves them in sanctuaries at 42% of their habitats.

Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens); Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China

Pere David’s Deer

A very strange and untypical deer with special appearance. They have tail of donkey, neck of camel and hooves of cow It was densely inhabiting large portions of wetlands for more than 2000 years. Now Pere David’s Deer is completely extinct in wild. There are only 1600 of them living in conservation centers.



Chinese Alligator

Reminds on other alligator species by appearance and size but is typical only for Yangtze river. Today there are only 150 of them in the wild and 10 000 in conservation facilities. Efforts of Chinese government have increased their number in conservation centers from 200 to 10 000.

Black Necked Crane

Cranes are very famous and important birds in China. Black Necked Cranes are even more specific and unique. Today there are only 3500 of them in Sichuan, Gansu, Tibet, Qinghai, Yunnan and Guizhou. They mostly live in swamplands and eat fish and insects.

Black necked crane (Grus nigricollis) on Da Shan Bao in Yunnan China


Golden Snub Nosed Monkey

These monkeys are among most specific and interesting in the world. China is a home of many species of monkeys but this one is endemic for China. There are about 16 000 of them living in Hubei, Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.

Golden _Monkey (5)

South China Tiger

Is one of rarest and most endangered animal species in the world. Generally all Tiger species are quite vulnerable and endangered but this one is mostly. South China Tiger for 30 years already doesn’t live in the wild. Fortunately in the conservation facilities there are about 90 of them living under state protection.

south china tiger

Brown Eared Pheasant

Reminds on other pheasant species that are widely spread in world and in China. But this one is specific with brown ears. There are less than 2000 of them living around Beijing, in Hebei and Shanxi.

Crested Ibis

Ibises are generally famous and widely spread birds in the world with different species and colors. Is one of rarest animals in the world. But this one was unique for China and widely spread in the past in China, Russia, Japan and Korea. By 1960ies it was considered completely extinct due to destruction of its habitat. 35 years ago 7 ibises were rediscovered in Shaanxi. Thanks to big efforts there are 1400 of them today. This can be considered one of biggest successes of Chinese government in conserving wildlife.

crested ibis

Siberian Tiger

Is a largest cat on our planet. In past it was widely inhabiting areas of Russian Siberia, northeastern China and Korea. Today there are several hundreds of them in Russian Siberia and 30 -50 of them in China. There are few of them in wildlife and many in conservation centers. There are wide efforts by Chinese scientists and volunteers to preserve this amazing cat.


Snow Leopard

Is one of cutest cats that I have ever seen. Generally leopards of Africa and India are not endangered neither vulnerable. But this is other specie of leopards which are much smaller by size but with longer tail than most famous leopard species. Snow leopards are also carnivorous but are able to attack smaller animals and do not attack humans. They inhabit mountains of China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India and Iran. In China they are one of quite endangered species and count about 2000. Mostly snow leopards live in Kunlun mountains but also in mountains of northern and northeastern China.

Chinese softshell turtle

It is not only vulnerable but also very rare animal. As its name says it has softer shell than other turtles. Another thing which makes this turtle specific is quite long nose. Those rare turtles are carnivores and eat fish, insects and shells of Chinese rivers and lakes.  Its population was in decline since historically villagers used to make soup from this animal. Now this turtle is under state protection.


White Yangtze Dolphin

Was a unique fresh water dolphin endemic specie of Yangtze river. Because of industrialization and increase of pollution their number was decreasing. Despite efforts of government they are considered extinct since 2005 when researchers couldn’t find single dolphin in Yangtze.

yangtze dolph



source of cover photo: 




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