South-west China's Mount Fanjingshan, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief, has been added to UNESCO World Heritage Site status on July 2nd at the 42nd World Heritage Committee meeting in Bahrain. As the 13th site in China included on the World Natural Heritage List, making the total number of world heritage sites in China reach 53.
Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province, Fanjingshan ranges in altitude between 500 metres and 2,570 metres above sea level, which is renowned for its biodiversity and unique mountainous scenery. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species which originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and 2 million years ago.
The site’s isolation has led to a high degree of biodiversity with endemic species, such as the Fanjingshan Fir and the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey, and endangered species, such as the Chinese Giant Salamander, the Forest Musk Deer and Reeve’s Pheasant. Fanjingshan has the largest and most contiguous primeval beech forest in the subtropical region.
It is also known as a 'sacred Buddhist mountain' because of its rich Buddhism presence that stretches back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), ranking just behind the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism.