China is one of the countries in the world having the most species of wild animals, with the number of terrestrial vertebrates alone exceeding 2,000, accounting for 9.8 percent of the world's total. Of this, birds make up the largest proportion, followed by beasts. Bird species so far discovered total 1,189; beasts, 500; amphibians, 210; and reptiles, 320. Many of the terrestrial vertebrate species in China are peculiar to, or are mainly found, in the country. For instance, there are 19 species of the pheasant family, such as bamboo partridge, tragopan, blue pheasant and white-crowned king pheasant. Giant panda, regarded as "living fossil," is endemic to China. There is also Pere David's deer, which is of special value to zoological studies and whose wild species has been extinct. Other rare species include takin, tufted deer and sika deer. China also has abundant species of resource animals, with more than 70 fur-bearing species, accounting for 17 percent of total beast species nationwide.
Two pandas enjoy bamboo in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province.
Plant species are abundant. There are more than 30,000 kinds of woody plants, of which the number of arbor species exceeds 2,800. China has almost all kinds of vegetation found in the Northern Hemisphere. Various kinds of forests are distributed in the humid east, while in the cold north are deciduous coniferous forests, and in the warm south, broad-leaved deciduous forests. Compared with those elsewhere around the world, subtropical forests in China cover the largest area, where grow small tracts of surviving ancient plants, such as metasequoia, Cathaya argyrophylla and ginkgo, which are regarded as "living fossils" and have disappeared in other parts of the world. The southernmost part of China has tropical semi-evergreen monsoon forests, rain forests and mangroves. In addition to its peculiar species such as metasequoia, Cathaya argyrophylla, ginkgo, Chinese cypress, China fir, golden larch, Taiwania, Fujian cypress and eucommia ulmoides, China has introduced some tropical plants, such as rubber, oil palm and sisal hemp.