Butterfly Conservation in China: From Science to Action
Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
School of Agriculture, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the P.R.C., Nanjing 210042, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Received: 23 August 2020 / Revised: 20 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
Butterflies provide numerous ecological and socio-economic services and are important indicator species. China is home to over 2000 species of butterflies and in recent years has elevated biodiversity conservation on the national agenda. This manuscript reviews China’s butterfly conservation efforts and its legal and policy frameworks. We note some of the current limitations in butterfly conservation (inappropriate listing of protected species; over-reliance on inventories, rather than holistic research) and offer numerous recommendations to improve conservation efforts. Our recommendations include those related to integration of scientific data into policy (designation of scientifically-based protected areas; development of appropriate criteria for classifying protected species; use of umbrella species for conservation purposes), adoption of butterfly-friendly land use policies in rural and urban areas, butterfly ranching and farming, use of citizen science to improve data collection, and enhanced public outreach and environmental education campaigns. Our recommendations will help further the goals of China’s National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011–2030).