Wuzhishan’s magnificent rainforest

By Ding Xin / hicn.cn / Updated: 23:25,09-November-2021

The Wuzhishan area is one of China’s dense, centralized protected tropical rainforest areas. It forms the boundary between different climates to the north and south as well as the eastern and western watersheds in Hainan. This rainforest has a unique microclimate and is rich in biodiversity.

Wuzhi Mountain boasts the highest peak on Hainan Island at 1,867 meters above sea level. The Changhua River, the second largest river in Hainan, and  the Wanquan River, the third largest river, both originate here. Wuzhi Mountain is the most important location for ecological protection and water and soil conservation in Hainan.

Bird's Nest Fern / SONG PING

Changhua River waterfall / SONG PING

During the rainy season, Wuzhishan’s slopes are criss-crossed by streams both large and small. The clear water rushes down, and even small changes in elevation and gentle slopes turn into rushing torrents that splash and crash down into pools of water below. Many small waterfalls form along the paths here, including one with a drop of nearly 10 meters.

On both sides of the streams, the tropical rainforest grows in wild abandon, thick with gnarled tree trunks, hanging mats of vines, and the spiraling emerald-green fronds of ferns. 284 plant species native to Hainan grow here, including the  Hainan Plum-yew and a unique species of the Madhuca tree that is only found in Hainan.

Changhua River / SONG PING

The rivers flowing down from Wuzhi Mountain nourish all the living creatures in Hainan’s tropical rainforest.

Rangers on Wuzhi Mountain / SONG PING

Ranger Wang Daozhen has been working in the Shuiman Management Station for decades. Born in Shuiman Township, he is a rainforest native who is proud to be a Guardian of the Tropical Rainforest and wear his uniform with the logo of the "Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park”.

"This is the national first-level protected plant Hopea Hainanensis. When you fold the leaves, a white line will appear along the crease. This tree can grow up to 30 meters tall,” explained Wang Daozhen.

On October 12, 2021, at the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park was selected as one of China’s first national parks. The Park, which encompasses Wuzhi Mountain and five other mountains, is now an ecological habitat for 3,653 species of wild vascular plants and 540 species of terrestrial vertebrates, a land bursting with life and green vitality.

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