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Ziyuan Fir (Abies ziyuanensis)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 14259589

Bringing local communities and a nature reserve together to save the Endangered Ziyuan fir (Abies ziyuanensis) in Southern China.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 14259589) - Ziyuan Fir - Awarded $13,000 on November 14, 2014

FFI works by invitation around the world to save species from extinction, habitats from destruction and to encourage sustainable development. Formed in 1903 in the United Kingdom, FFI acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, are based on sound science and take account of human needs. We work through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results and believe success lies in devising strategies that both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human development. Our guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen our partners’ capacity. Our program of activities in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Eurasia is delivered principally through: building capacity to equip local people and agencies to manage their natural heritage; monitoring causes of biodiversity loss and its impact on local people, identifying and implementing solutions that benefit people and wildlife; and securing threatened areas of high biodiversity importance through land purchase and local conservation agreements.

Through the Global Trees Campaign, a partnership between FFI and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, FFI-China has worked on the conservation of threatened trees since 2004. Our work has focused on the conservation of exceptionally rare and threatened magnolia, conifer and rhododendron species. Following FFI’s guiding principles, we work in partnership with a network of nature reserves, research institutions, government agencies and local communities to achieve gains for tree conservation

In 2010, FFI China initiated a three-year program to support over 30 nature reserves that host target threatened trees in southern China (Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces), developing their capacity in tree conservation and helping them to secure funding and initiate conservation interventions for target species. Through this program, we received a request from Yinzhulaoshan Provincial Nature Reserve (PNR) to help save the Ziyuan fir (Abies ziyuanensis). Like other fir trees, the Ziyuan fir is large and impressive when fully grown and is an important feature of the forest ecosystem. It is classified as Endangered and has experienced a severe population decline since its 1979 discovery. Now only 600 individuals remain across three populations in Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangxi Provinces. Yinzhulaoshan hosts a fragile population of 50. 2014 funding from Save Our Species Fund is allowing us to take action for the species, working with reserve staff and local communities to safeguard the highly threatened population in Yinzhulaoshan, but early results clearly indicate that additional support is desperately needed. The reserve’s four rangers alone are not enough to patrol an area exceeding 10km2 while also dealing with threats from illegal logging. In fact, this May, one of the reserve’s remaining Ziyuan firs was illegally harvested. Co-funding from MBZSCF is needed to strengthen this program and give this threatened species a chance. Requested funds will allow us to: develop a co-management plan for sustainable resource use with communities living outside the reserve; better understand resource use within the reserve; and work together with villagers to carry out joint patrols – thus substantially increasing protection for the Ziyuan fir.

Project documents