Biodiversity Data Journal : Research Article
Research Article
Result of a year-long animal survey in a state-owned forest farm in Beijing, China
expand article infoXiangying Shi‡,§, Ge Sun|, Xinyu Yang, Junhong Gao, Lingdi Tan§, Yuexin Song§, Yiping Hu§, Zunxiu Zhou#, Huibin Zhao#, Zhihai Hu#, Shunwan Zhu#, Yufan Cao#, Rui Liao¤, Wei Chen«, Zhehao Wu», Xiangyu Guan˄, Xiaotong Ren˅, Shen Zhang§
‡ College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
§ Shan Shui Conservation Center, Beijing, China
| Ecology and Nature Conservation Institute,Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
¶ Beijing Forestry Carbon Administration, Beijing, China
# Jingxi Forest Farm, Beijing, China
¤ Sichuan Academy of Forestry, Chengdu, China
« Center for Nature and Society, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
» Mountain Cats Culture Communication Co., Ltd, Beijing, China
˄ Guanxiangyu Ecological Technology Co. Ltd, Beijing, China
˅ Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
Open Access



Artificial forest can have great potential in serving as habitat to wildlife, depending on different management methods. As the state-owned forest farms now play a new role in ecological conservation in China, the biological richness of this kind of land-use type is understudied. Once owned by a mining company, a largest state-owned forest farm, Jingxi Forest Farm, has been reformed to be a state-owned forest farm with the purpose of conservation since 2017. Although this 116.4 km2 forest farm holds a near-healthy montaine ecosystem very representative in North China, a large proportion of artificial coniferous forest in the forest farm has been proven to hold less biodiversity than natural vegetation. This situation, however, provides a great opportunity for ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, from November 2019 to December 2020, we conducted a set of biodiversity surveys, whose results will serve as a baseline for further restoration and conservation.

New information

Here, we report the result of a multi-taxa fauna diversity survey conducted in Jingxi Forest Farm mainly in year 2020 with explicit spatial information. It is the first survey of its kind conducted in this area, revealing a total of 19 species of mammals, 86 birds, four reptiles, two amphibians and one fish species, as well as 101 species of insects. Four species of mammals are identified as data-poor species as they have less than 100 occurrence records with coordination in the GBIF database. One species of insect, representing one new provincial record genus of Beijing, is reported.


biodiversity, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, insects, artificial forest, natural forest, Jingxi Forest Farm


A large effort on reforestation and afforestation has been made in China, constituting nearly one fourth of the global growth in forest as from year 2000 to 2017 as an example, which has been suggested as a great opportunity for biodiversity conservation (Hua et al. 2016, Chen et al. 2019). However, there are very few considerations of biodiversity effects of these projects, with monoculture species, high density stems and low underlayer coverages. Monoculture forests have been proven to support less biodiversity, as well as other critical ecosystem services, such as water yield and soil erosion control, than natural forests, both old-growth and natural-recovered (Wang et al. 2019, Ke et al. 2020, Hua et al. 2022). Therefore, it is necessary to set up new plans for transforming the existing artificial forest to more natural and complex ones, as well as implementing reforestation with a better design, including natural and assisted natural regeneration, as a crucial part for further ecological restoration.

State-owned forest farms are government entities that manage state-owned forest and related land in China (Ni et al. 2022). There are 64.7 million hectares of forestlands in China managed by state-owned forest farms up to 2019, consisting of 22.8% of forestlands of the country (National Forestry and Grassland Administration 2021). With the "Natural Forest Protection Policy" and other forest policies, timber logging is strictly limited national wide; therefore, most forest farms now serve with a new role in nature conservation and recreation. Therefore, there is a great potential to estimate and improve biodiversity conservation in the artificial forests of forest farms. However, earlier studies on forest farms mainly focused on single species groups or other environmental indicators (Kwok and Corlett 2000, Liang et al. 2013, Wang et al. 2019).

In this study, we provide the first comprehensive inventory of the largest state-owned forest farm in Beijing, the Jingxi Forest Farm, which is a representative of the forest ecoysystem of North China Taihang Mountain Range. The dataset results from our multi-species approach including mammals, birds and insects. The data would be a baseline to be provided for a biodiversity restoration pilot project by the Beijing City government, that restoration intervention and management would improve the biodiversity function of existing artifical forests.

Material and methods

Study site

The study site, Jingxi Forest Farm (39.94N, 115.81E) is located in the west of the Municipality of Beijing, the capital city and one of the mega-cities in the world with ca. 25 million residents. This state-owned forest farm is by far the largest one of its kind in Beijing, with an area of 116.4 km2. It used to belong to the Beijing Jingmei Group, a state-owned coal mine company and a large proportion of its artificial forest was planted for industrial use since 1970s. The whole forest farm was transferred under the management of Beijing Municipal Forestry and Parks Bureau in 2017; therefore, all forests were then managed for the ecological purpose of public interest alone. The key responsiblilty of the forest farm management includes tending and thinning of existing forests, ecological restoration on former mining area by reforestation, fire prevention and patrolling against poaching. No other human activity is officially allowed so far, although some level of fungi collecting and hiking may occur. This area also serves an important role in preserving connectivity from the great mountains of of the centre Taihang where leopard (Panthera pardus japonesis) still exists (Luo et al. 2020) to the North-China Plain where tens of millions of people live.

Most part of the Jingxi is mountain area, ranging from 200 m a.s.l. to 1610 m a.s.l. with a temperate continental climate. According to the management office, this site has a mean annual temperature of 7-10°C and mean annual precipitation around 600 mm. It has a mixed vegetation of artificial and natural secondary forest on the shady slopes, as well as scrublands on most of the sunny slopes, except for the artificial forest on less steep sunny surfaces. As of 2017, Jingxi has 36.3 km2 of forest with canopy coverage above 20%, 63% of the area of which is pure coniferous forest, all artificially originated. The remaining part is a mixture of artificial and secondary natural forests, consisting of broadleaved or mixed forests. With rising elevation, the main tree species in artificial coniferous forest change from Pinus tabuliformis to Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii, with occasionally naturally-growing Ulmus parvifolia and Fraxinus chinensis subsp. rhynchophylla individuals. Meanwhile, the foundation species in secondary natural forests changes from Populus tremula var. davidiana to Betula pendula subsp. mandshurica, with Quercus mongolica being seen within natural forests at all elevations. This area shared some of its western boundaries with Beijing Baihua Mountain National Reserve, resulting a similar composition in flora community (Zhang et al. 2020).

Sampling design and methods

Our work mainly aimed at collecting fauna biodiversity information for this newly-established forest farm, providing a baseline for further management and planning. We undertook a systematic survey on several animal taxa, including mammals (camera traps and mouse traps, thus no bats were sampled), birds (visual observation and vocal identification on transects at dawn, usually within 3 hours after sunrise; for detailed survey time and effort, see Suppl. material 1; no nocturnal species were noticed) and insects (pitfall traps for quantitative surveying Carabidae species, Malaise trap for more general species), while using convenience sampling on other vertebrates and other taxa of insects during daytime (mainly Odonata and Papilionoidea). The project was started in late 2019 and is still in progress; and here we are reporting results mostly up to 31 Dec 2020, before all restoration measurement took place. For different taxa and methods, spatial and temporal coverage may vary.

Details of sampling methods, efforts and date coverage are listed in Table 1, while spatial distribution of sampling points is listed in Table 2 (Fig. 1). As the whole area had various vegetation types, we recorded the vegetation type at each sampling point. Abbreviation of forest types in Table 2: NB = natural secondary deciduous broad-leaved forest, mainly a mixture community consisting of Quercus mongolica and Populus tremula var. davidiana at our sampling points (Fig. 2); AB = artificial deciduous broad-leaved forest, usually near abandoned (from 1970s) villages, including Robinia pseudoacacia, Juglans regia, Crataegus pinnatifida and other commonly cultivated tree species in Beijing (Fig. 3); AC = artificial coniferous forest, first planted in 1970s, mainly Pinus tabuliformis or Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii pure forest or a mixture of both species (Fig. 4). We did not sample in any scrub habitats (Fig. 5), which are abundant on most steep sunny slopes, but hard to approach for both human and other medium-large mammals, except Naemorhedus griseus.

Table 1.

Sampling methods, efforts and date coverage.

Taxon Method Sampling effort Sampling time Identify references Nomenclature Id experts
Mammals camera trap, EREAGLE® E1C & E3H 22 sites/cameras 29 Nov. 2019 - 31 Dec. 2020 Chen et al. (2002) Jiang et al. (2017) Sun G., Hu Y.
Small Mammals (Rodents and Shrews) mousetrap with sunflower seed 3 sites, 200 traps * 1 night 19 Aug. 2020 - 20 Aug. 2020 Jiang et al. (2017) Liao R.
Birds transect survey at dawn, usually finishes within 3 hours after sunrise; visual (with 8*42 binoculars) and vocal identification 2 transects, 500 m each, detailed sampling date see Suppl. material 1 18 Apr. 2020 - 24 Oct. 2020 MacKinnon et al. (2000), Zhao (2018), recordings on Zheng (2017) Huang H., Wu Z., Zhang S.
Other Vertebrate Convenience sampling by observation NA 29 Nov. 2019 - 31 Dec. 2020 Taxonomy of reptiles and amphibians follows Wang et al. (2020). Fishes see Zhang and Zhao (2013) Wu Z., Qi S.
Insects Townes type Malaise trap, 1.8 m length * 1.2 m width, 2 m middle ridge 1 trap 20 May 2020 - 26 Aug. 2020 Chen et al. (1959), Raske (1973), Tan and Yu (1980), Pu (1980), Zhao and Chen (1980), Jiang et al. (1985), Tian and Yu (1994), Kryzhanovskij et al. (1995), Yu (1995), Yu (1996), Ren et al. (1998), Zhang et al. (1998), Tian (2000), Ren and Li (2001), Jiang (2002), Růžička (2002), Yu et al. (2002), Kim and Kim (2003), Huang and Jiang (2004), Yu et al. (2004), Han et al. (2005), Fan et al. (2007), Jung and Kim (2009), Ren et al. (2009), Yu (2010), Yang and Ren (2011), Ji (2012), Zahradník (2012), Chen (2013), Hu et al. (2013), Warren-Thomas et al. (2014), Zhao (2014), Zhou et al. (2014), Lin (2015), Liu et al. (2015), Yu et al. (2016), Wei (2017), Xu et al. (2018), Bai et al. (2019), Egorov (2019), Hui (2019), Yu (2020), Fabrizi et al. (2021) Huang Z.
Insects pitfall trap, ø = 8 cm, d = 13.5 cm, filled with saturated NaCl solution 24 traps 20 May 2020 - 1 Oct 2020 Same as above. Huang Z.
Insects Convenience sampling by observation NA 29 Nov. 2019 - 31 Dec. 2020 Zhang (2018), Wu and Xu (2017) Chen W.
Table 2.

Sampling points and its environment.

Method ID latitude/° longitude/° elevation/m vegetation
camera trap JXLC0001 39.94007 115.81598 1012 AC
camera trap JXLC0002 39.94079 115.81655 1022 AC
camera trap JXLC0003 39.94105 115.81627 1040 AC
camera trap JXLC0004 39.94037 115.81657 1027 AC
camera trap JXLC0005 39.94222 115.81736 989 AC
camera trap JXLC0006 39.95071 115.85044 1014 AC
camera trap JXLC0008 39.95763 115.85891 725 AB
camera trap JXLC0009 39.95404 115.85568 767 AC
camera trap JXLC0010 39.95463 115.85475 784 AC
camera trap JXLC0011 39.95400 115.84791 772 AC
camera trap JXLC0012 39.95386 115.84971 800 AC
camera trap JXLC0013 39.95321 115.84568 712 AB
camera trap JXLC0014 39.95586 115.81442 707 NB
camera trap JXLC0015 39.95541 115.83362 626 NB
camera trap JXLC0016 39.94957 115.84432 1014 AB
camera trap JXLC0017 39.95545 115.83365 775 AB
camera trap JXLC0018 39.94990 115.83061 850 AC
camera trap JXLC0019 39.92456 115.81445 925 NB
camera trap JXLC0020 39.92594 115.82098 924 NB
camera trap JXLC0021 39.94203 115.81749 942 AC
camera trap JXLC0022 39.92515 115.81470 897 NB
camera trap JXLC0023 39.96107 115.88228 553 AB
Malaise trap jxmt 39.95440 115.85500 784 AC
mouse trap jxm1 39.92422 115.81481 900 NB
mouse trap jxm2 39.95172 115.83231 729 AB
mouse trap jxm3 39.93356 115.81845 858 AC
transect jxt1 39.94142 115.81650 950 AC
transect jxc1 39.92437 115.81435 950 NB
pitfall trap point jxp1 39.93356 115.81845 858 AC
Figure 1.  

Sampling points and their distribution in Jingxi, see Table 2. Contour lines representing elevation, using data from Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, USGS (2018).

Figure 2.  

Natural secondary deciduous broad-leaved forest in Jingxi (photo taken in October), mainly a mixed community consisting of Quercus mongolica and Populus tremula var. davidiana.

Figure 3.  

Artificial deciduous broad-leaved forest (photo taken in June), including Robinia pseudoacacia, Juglans regia, Crataegus pinnatifida and other commonly cultivated tree species.

Figure 4.  

Artificial coniferous forest (photo taken in April), first planted in 1970s, generally Pinus tabuliformis or Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii pure forest or a mixture of both species.

Figure 5.  

Shrub community on sunny slopes (photo taken in April), constituting of Vitex negundo var. negundo, Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa, Prunus davidiana, Prunus sibirica and other species.

Data resources

Our survey records 19 species of mammals, 86 birds, four reptiles, two amphibians and one fish, as well as 101 species of insects. By far, we are only reporting occurrence information here and this information does not represent any absence data.

All mammals recorded, but one species (Table 3, Table 4) are listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List (IUCN 2021), with Naemorhedus griseus previously listed as Vulnerable (Duckworth et al. 2008, see discussion). Two Sepcies (Prionailurus bengalensis and Naemorhedus griseus) are listed as Vulnerable in China's Red List of Biodiversity (Jiang 2021), as well as China’s Key Protected Wild Animals as 2nd level protected animal. Four species have less than 100 occurrence records with coordination in GBIF database, therefore identified as data-poor species.

Table 3.

Mammals and their point-level occurrence, with "y" illustrating detection in this site.

Species Crocidura shantungensis Erinaceus amurensis Mustela sibirica Meles leucurus Arctonyx collaris Paguma larvata Prionailurus bengalensis Lepus tolai Sciurus vulgaris Sciurotamias davidianus
China’s Key Protected Wild Animals II
China's Red List of Biodiversity LC LC LC NT NT NT VU LC NT LC
Number of occurrence records with coordination in GBIF (if n < 100) 52 (GBIF Secretariat 2021a) 64 (GBIF Secretariat 2021b)
JXLC0001 y y y
JXLC0002 y y y
JXLC0003 y y y y y
JXLC0004 y y y
JXLC0005 y
JXLC0006 y y
JXLC0008 y y y y
JXLC0010 y y y y
JXLC0011 y y
JXLC0012 y y y
JXLC0013 y y y y y y
JXLC0014 y y y y y
JXLC0015 y y y y y
JXLC0016 y y
JXLC0017 y y y y y y y y
JXLC0018 y y
JXLC0019 y y y
JXLC0020 y y y y y
JXLC0021 y y
JXLC0022 y y y y
JXLC0023 y y y y
jxm3 y
visiual observation at daytime y y y
Table 4.

Continued: Mammals and their point-level occurrence, with "y" illustrating detection in this site.

species Tamias sibiricus Tamiops swinhoei Apodemus peninsulae Apodemus agrarius Niviventer confucianus Tscherskia triton Sus scrofa Capreolus pygargus Naemorhedus griseus
China’s Key Protected Wild Animals II
China's Red List of Biodiversity LC LC LC LC LC LC LC NT VU
Number of occurrence records with coordination in GBIF (if n < 100) 76 (GBIF Secretariat 2021c) 15 (GBIF Secretariat 2021d)
JXLC0001 y y
JXLC0002 y y
JXLC0004 y
JXLC0005 y
JXLC0008 y y
JXLC0009 y y
JXLC0010 y y
JXLC0011 y y
JXLC0012 y y y
JXLC0013 y y y
JXLC0014 y y
JXLC0015 y y y
JXLC0016 y
JXLC0017 y y
JXLC0018 y
JXLC0019 y y
JXLC0020 y y y
JXLC0021 y
JXLC0022 y y
JXLC0023 y y y
jxm1 y y y y
jxm2 y y y
jxm3 y
visiual observation at daytime y y y y y

Birds are only reported as checklists (Table 5) from both transects, more detailed records have been uploaded to eBird database and can be downloaded for further analysis (Suppl. material 1). None of the species is Threatened species according to the IUCN Red List, seven species are listed as NT in China's Red List of Biodiversity (Zhang and Zheng 2021), while 14 species are listed in China’s Key Protected Wild Animals as 2nd level protected animal.

Table 5.

Checklists of birds with their occurrence in two transects in Jingxi, with their protection level in China.

Bird species China's Key Protected Wild Animals China's Red List of Biodiversity Number of occurrences in jxt1 Number of occurrences in jxc1
Pucrasia macrolopha II LC 0 4
Phasianus colchicus LC 9 8
Anas crecca LC 0 1
Streptopelia orientalis LC 1 1
Hirundapus caudacutus LC 0 1
Apus apus LC 0 1
Hierococcyx sparverioides LC 2 4
Cuculus micropterus LC 0 1
Cuculus saturatus LC 1 2
Turnix tanki LC 0 1
Pernis ptilorhynchus II NT 2 1
Accipiter gularis II LC 1 1
Accipiter nisus II LC 1 3
Circus spilonotus II NT 0 1
Circus cyaneus II NT 0 1
Circus melanoleucos II NT 0 1
Milvus migrans II LC 1 0
Dendrocopos canicapillus LC 2 1
Dendrocopos major LC 1 1
Picus canus LC 0 1
Falco tinnunculus II LC 1 1
Falco subbuteo II LC 1 1
Falco peregrinus II NT 0 1
Pericrocotus ethologus LC 0 1
Dicrurus hottentottus LC 1 0
Garrulus glandarius LC 3 4
Urocissa erythroryncha LC 2 3
Pica pica LC 3 4
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax LC 2 0
Corvus macrorhynchos LC 5 7
Periparus ater LC 2 1
Pardaliparus venustulus LC 7 8
Poecile palustris LC 3 7
Poecile montanus LC 10 11
Parus cinereus LC 9 10
Alauda arvensis II LC 1 0
Locustella tacsanowskia LC 0 1
Pycnonotus sinensis LC 2 3
Phylloscopus fuscatus LC 0 2
Phylloscopus armandii LC 6 7
Phylloscopus schwarzi LC 2 3
Phylloscopus yunnanensis LC 4 2
Phylloscopus proregulus LC 5 4
Phylloscopus inornatus LC 3 3
Phylloscopus humei LC 1 0
Phylloscopus borealis LC 1 2
Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus LC 4 3
Phylloscopus coronatus LC 2 3
Phylloscopus claudiae LC 7 7
Horornis canturians LC 6 6
Urosphe squameiceps LC 3 7
Aegithalos glaucogularis LC 10 7
Rhopophilus pekinensis LC 5 11
Sinosuthora webbia LC 4 7
Zosterops erythropleurus II LC 0 1
Zosterops japonicus LC 2 4
Garrulax davidi LC 8 9
Sitta villosa NT 6 3
Turdus ruficollis LC 1 0
Turdus naumanni LC 1 0
Turdus mupinensis LC 3 4
Larvivora cyane LC 4 2
Calliope calliope II LC 1 1
Tarsiger cyanurus LC 2 1
Phoenicurus auroreus LC 6 9
Muscicapa sibirica LC 1 0
Ficedula zanthopygia LC 2 2
Ficedula elisae NT 2 2
Ficedula albicilla LC 0 2
Regulus regulus LC 1 0
Prunella collaris LC 1 0
Prunella montanella LC 1 1
Passer cinnamomeus LC 2 0
Motacilla tschutschensis LC 1 2
Motacilla alba LC 1 3
Anthus richardi LC 0 2
Anthus hodgsoni LC 3 3
Fringilla montifringilla LC 2 1
Carpodacus erythrinus LC 4 2
Carpodacus davidianus LC 5 6
Chloris sinica LC 3 5
Spinus spinus LC 1 1
Emberiza godlewskii LC 8 10
Emberiza cioides LC 7 2
Emberiza pusilla LC 3 2
Emberiza elegans LC 1 1
Number of species in total 14 86 69 75

Other vertebrates are mostly recorded, based on convenience sampling and are listed in Table 6. One sepcies (Elaphe carinata) is listed as Endangered in China's Red List of Biodiversity (Wang et al. 2021, Jiang et al. 2021) with other species listed as Least Concern. There are two main streams in the area and we sampled one for fish and amphibians. Reptiles were recorded on encounter.

Table 6.

Checklist of other vertebrates and coordinates of their occurrence records.

Class Order Family Species China's Red List of Biodiversity Latitude Longitude
Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Leuciscidae Rhynchocypris lagowskii LC 39.9517 115.8410
Amphibia Anura Bufonidae Bufo gargarizans LC 39.9517 115.8410
Amphibia Anura Ranidae Rana chensinensis LC 39.9517 115.8410
Reptilia Squamata Colubridae Elaphe carinata EN 39.9414 115.7889
Reptilia Squamata Colubridae Coluber spinalis LC 39.9382 115.8510
Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae Eremias brenchleyi LC 39.9414 115.7889

A checklist of insects are also reported with our method of survey (Table 7). One species representing one new provincial record genus of Beijing (Claddiscus obeliscus Lewis, 1895) is reported.

Table 7.

Checklist of insects in Jingxi.

Species Malaise trap Pitfall traps Convenience sampling by observation Note
Clinterocera mandarina (Westwood, 1874) y
Stictoleptura succedanea (Lewis, 1879) y
Holotrichia titanis Reitter, 1902 y
Onthophagus sp. y
Maladera orientalis (Motschulsky, 1857) y
Brahmina faldermanni Kraatz, 1892 y
Pseudosymmachia flavescens (Brenske, 1892) y
Maladera sp. y
Hemicrepidius sp. y
Selatosomus sp. y
Blaps sp. y
Oodescelis punctatissima (Fairmaire, 1886) y
Carabus (Scambocarabus) sculptipennis Chaudoir, 1877 y y
Carabus granulatus Linnaeus, 1758 y y
Carabus crassesculptus Kraatz, 1881 y y
Poecilus nitidicollis Motschulsky, 1844 y y
Agonum gracilipes (Duftschmid, 1812) y
Amara gigantea (Motschulsky, 1844) y
Harpalus calceatus (Duftschmid, 1812) y
Carabus manifestus Kraatz, 1881 y y
Opilo luteonotatus Pic, 1926 y
Borboresthes subapicalis Pic 1934 y
Bruchidius comptus (Sharp, 1886) y
Ocypus weisei Harold, 1877 y
Agrilus viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Lilioceris ruficollis (Baly, 1865) y
Mordellistena trifasciata (Say, 1826) y Originated from North America, exotic / possibly invasive species
Hemipyxis plagioderoides (Motschulsky, 1861) y
Pseudocneorhinus hlavaci Ren, Borovec & Zhang, 2019 y
Asiophrida xanthospilota (Baly, 1881) y
Serica sp. y
Borboresthes acicularis Marseul, 1876 y
Smaragdina sp. y
Claddiscus obeliscus Lewis, 1895 y A new provincial record genus of Beijing
Trachys aurifluus Solsky, 1875 y
Cybocephalus nipponicus Endrody-Younga, 1971 y
Caenocara sp. y
Micrambe sinensis Grouvelle, 1910 y
Ernobius mollis (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, 1773) y
Falsomordellistena sp. y
Chlorophorus simillimus (Kraatz, 1879) y
Clerus dealbatus (Kraatz, 1879) y
Stigmatium nakanei Iga, 1949 y
Oenopia scalaris (Timberlake, 1943) y
Anapsis sp. y
Ectasiocnemis anchoralis Nomura, 1961 y
Longitarsus dorsopictus Chen, 1939 y
Byctiscus betulae (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Magdalis frontalis (Gyllenhal, 1827) y
Eumyllocerus sectator (Reitter, 1915) y
Araecerus sp. y
Trachys sp. y
Camponotus japonicus Mayr, 1866 y
Chrysis sp. y
Sympiesis sp. y
Vulgichneumon leucaniae (Uchida, 1924) y
Aphidius gifuensis (Ashmead, 1906) y
Aphidius avenae Haliday, 1834 y
Vespa bicolor Fabricius, 1787 y
Vespula flaviceps (Smith, 1870) y
Megarhyssa praecellens (Tosquinet, 1889) y
Gasteruption sp. y
Heteribalia sp. y
Ammophila sp. y
Enicospilus sp. y
Nephrotoma scalaris parvinotata (Brunetti, 1918) y
Contarinia sp. y
Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani, 1847) y
Hemipenthes velutina (Meigen, 1820) y
Musca domestica Linnaeus, 1758 y
Voria ruralis (Fallen, 1810) y
Episyrphus balteata (De Geer, 1776) y
Ptecticus australis Schiner, 1868 y
Cophinopoda chinensis (Fabricius, 1794) y
Macrocera sp. y
Matrona basilaris Selys, 1853 y
Mnais sp. y
Sympetrum eroticum (Selys, 1883) y
Aeshna mixta Latreille, 1805 y
Papilio xuthus Linnaeus, 1767 y
Pieris rapae (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Pontia daplidice (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Colias poliographus Motschulsky, 1860 y
Neptis sappho (Pallas, 1771) y
Neptis rivularis (Scopoli, 1763) y
Childrena zenobia (Leech, 1890) y
Argyronome laodice (Pallas, 1771) y
Polygonia c-aureum (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Polygonia c-album (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Loxerebia saxicola (Oberthür, 1876) y
Minois dryas (Scopoli, 1763) y
Everes argiades (Pallas, 1771) y
Celastrina argiola (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Lycaeides argyrognomon (Bergsträsser, [1779]) y
Ochlodes subhyalina (Bremer & Grey, 1853) y
Vanessa indica (Herbst, 1794) y
Hestina assimilis (Linnaeus, 1758) y
Libythea lepita Moore, [1858] y
Notocrypta curvifascia (C. & R. Felder, 1862) y
Sericinus montelus Gray, 1852 y


The total number of 213 species of animals were recorded in Jingxi area by the end of the year 2020. Amongst them, one species was listed as EN and two species were listed as VU in China's Red List of Biodiversity. More species of mammals (natural forest: 14, in total 19; artifical coniferous forest: 11, in total 19), birds (natural forest: 75, in total 86; artifical coniferous forest: 69, in total 86) were recorded in natural forest than in artificial coniferous forests. No insect sampling was done in natural forest, so no comparison was available.


Limited by our human power and project design, we did not conduct systemtic sampling all over the site. Additionally, some of the sampling points lie in close vicinity with each other, so occurrence data from these points may not be independent. It is advised that great caution should be taken when accounting our occurrence data into any further modelling. However, comparing to exsiting GBIF data, our occurrence data, as well as environment information still expand the knowledge of several data-poor species in this less-studied area and add evidence to the comparison of biodiversity between artificial forest and natural forests (Carnus et al. 2006, Brockerhoff et al. 2008, Horák et al. 2019, Wang et al. 2019).

Our data show that there is a clear trend that artificial coniferous forests hold less mammalian and avian biodiversity than natural forest of the same age, altitude and slope, even with more sampling effort, larger coverage (see Table 2) in artificial forests. This justifies our suggestion that artificial coniferous forests should be modified for better biodiversity and other ecosystem services outcomes. Our result also suggest that, despite large areas of artifical forest present, these sites still server as important wildlife habitats, as other artificial forests can do (Harich and Treydte 2016, Tanalgo et al. 2021). Jingxi supports biodiversity similar to one important nature reserve, Baihua Mountain National Nature Reserve, which lies in the close vicinity to the west of Jingxi. The NNR have better natural vegetation (Zhang et al. 2020) and further distance to the urban area, thus less human disturbance, comparing to Jingxi; thus, there is a good opportunity for comparing biodiversity on different spots in the names of different vegetation, human disturbance and management planning. As an example, comparing with latest camera trap report and historical checklist from Baihua Mountain NNR (Fu et al. 1994, Liu et al. 2018), we reported a nearly similar composition of mammal species, except for small mammals like bats, rodents and shrews. This similarity in mammal composition shows that Jingxi has a great importance in providing suitable and specific habitats and connections for wildlife.

Our results also call for surveying and monitoring projects to take place in nearby areas and their results to be published with clear spatial information. Although not rarely captured by camera traps in our study, four over 19 total recorded mammal species are data-poor in GBIF, indicating great potential of occurrence data to be published. Furthermore, monitoring of the population trend of vulnerable species N. griseus at larger scale is crucial, as it was once listed as VU in the IUCN Red List, while it is not currently assessed in the Red List as Mori et al. (2019) suggested that N. griseus should be treated as a subspecies of N. goral. The lack of assessment and information could become a barrier in the conservation of this nationally important and vulnerable species/population. Therefore, more information and long-term monitoring on this population is important for further conservation actions.

Finally, there are still knowledge gaps on information about amphibians and reptiles, as well as bats in vertebrates, while no flying squirrels were witnessed within the area. No research on either amphibian or reptile diversity was found for this area or adjoining areas like Baihua Mountain NNR. With a total of five species of amphibians and reptiles beingreported in Jingxi, it shows great potential for a systematic survey to be conducted, comparing with the result of 22 species municipality-wide (Shi et al. 2022). Additionally, we still have a poor level of different taxa of insects covered in our survey as only pitfall traps and malaise traps were used, while it is still more challenging when it comes to other invertebrate taxa.


This dataset shows that an artificial forest farm near a mega city such as Beijing can harbour a considerable biological richness and serve as natural habitat to wildlife. It adds evidence to findings from other forest types with a multi-species approach (Kwok and Corlett 2000, Stephens and Wagner 2007, Wang et al. 2019). This is also the first report (both in English and Chinese) on biodiversity in Jingxi. Our results provided a baseline for a next step of ecological restoration, while showing a trend that natural forest held all and more species than in artificial forests on site, justifying our design that transforming artificial forest to natural forest as a means of the restoration.

Considering the large proportion of artificial habitat, especially pure coniferous forest, presenting in Jingxi, it is also worth implementing further management on plant community, based on our knowledge of fauna species’ preference, promoting richer biodiversity and more lively environment near the urban community.


We would like to thank Professor Lu Zhi and Professor Xu Jintao from Peking University for the earlier guidance and advice on the design of the study. We also would like to thank Prof. Gu Lei from Beijing Normal Univerity for identifying plants, Qi Shuo from Sun-Yet Sen University for identifying reptiles, Dr. Huang Zhengzhong from Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences for identifying insect specimens and Dr. Huang Hanchen from University of Miami for waking us up at 3 am for the bird survey. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to all volunteers who participated in our fieldwork and identifying camera trap images.

Funding program

This work was funded by "Beijing Urban Biodiversity Restoration and Public Nature Education Demonstration" project supported by Beijing Municipal Foresty and Parks Bureau and by "Yixin Huatai - Ant Forest Jingxi Charitable Protected Area" project supported by China Environmental Protection Foundation.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: S1 List of eBird checklists at Jingxi 
Authors:  Zhang, Shen
Data type:  checklists
Brief description: 

a List of eBird checklists at Jingxi

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