Huanglong Biosphere Reserve is situated in a mountainous area with peaks reaching up to 5,588 meters above sea level. The area has already been noted for its biodiversity hotspot, part of it being inscribed as a Natural World Heritage site in 1992. Major wild animals include the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), Rhinopithecus roxellana and the leopard (Panthera pardus fusca). It is also remarkable from a scenic point of view since the biosphere reserve includes a system of 3,400 travertine pools that are linked by travertine shoals, rapids and waterfalls.
Huanglong in SW China's Sichuan Province. (Photo: Li Tianshe/ UNESCO)
About 630 permanent residents live in the biosphere reserve (2000) who all live in Huanglong Township and who are composed of Han, Tibetans and Muslims. They mostly subside on farming and husbandry, however tourism also increases its importance in the local economy. The Huanglong Gorge is a holy site and there is an annual pilgrimage with people from different religions gathering there to worship.
The biosphere reserve is trying to find a scientific way to protect the natural resources in the area, but at the same time use them in a sustainable way. It is therefore considered important to cooperate with the local communities, and use existing traditional knowledge and local products for improving the economic situation of the population.