Sino-Himalayan Subregion

Sino-Himalayan Subregion

 

Manchurian-Chinese Subregion, a subregion of the Palaearctic division of the Holarctic zoogeographic region of the land area. The subregion occupies the Amur area, the islands of Japan, eastern China, and the Tahsiieh Shan. The natural conditions of the Sino-Himalayan Subregion are very diverse. In the topography there is a complex combination of mountains and vast plains, largely cultivated— for example, the North China and Sung-Liao (Manchurian) plains. The natural vegetation is represented predominantly by forests (leafy and mixed, partially transitional in the north to taiga forests and in the south to the tropical forests of the Indo-Malayan Region).

The fauna of the Sino-Himalayan Subregion is one of the richest of the Palaearctic. There is a significant number of endemics. At the same time, northern forest Palaearctic forms have moved in from the north, and Indo-Malayan forms from the south. The characteristic mammals include insectivores, with several genera of shrews (Soriculus, Anourosorex) and moles (Uropsilus, Scaptonyx), and carnivores, with one genus of badgers (Arctonyx), and the Siberian red dog, raccoon dog, giant panda, lesser panda, and Himalayan marten. Among rodents there are unique genera of squirrels, dormice, birch mice, and zokors. Ungulates are represented by the goral, water deer, sika, axis deer, and muntjac. There are several species of apes (including the Japanese macaque). Of the birds, of particular interest are several genera of pheasants (in the south), a number of genera of Passeriformes (white-eye, Eastern blue magpie, and babbler), and one genus of parrots. Also characteristic is a series of genera of reptiles (lizards and snakes; the alligator inhabits the Yangtse River) and amphibians and fishes (Psephurus from the cartilaginous ganoids).

V. G. GEPTNER

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