Peacock--the symbol of Yunnan
The south and southwest of Yunnan are the home peacocks, which belong to pheasant family, chicken order. With a crest on head and elegant feathers as the tail, the male peacock is brilliantly blue-green with purplish red reflections on the back. Peacocks often inhabit in the parkland of less than 2000 meters above the sea level, or highland with bushes, groves of bamboo, coniferous and broad-leaf forests, especially the place where there are streams; peacocks feed on birchleaf pears, rice and corn, and also like to eat insects and frogs. Peacocks are symbols of luck, happiness and beauty for the Dai nationality, so Peacock Dance is the fovourate folk dance of the Dai people. When celebrating the Water Splashing Festival or the harvest of crops, the Dai people will get together and perform the Peacock Dance to the rhythm of the gongs and drums, thus adding the beauty of intelligence to the peacock.
Snub-nosed monkey--the rare national treasure
The snub-nosed monkey is rare animal on earth and also a primate peculiar to China. Dwelling the dense forest, 3400 meters above the sea level, in Deqin, Lijiang and Weixi Counties which are in the northwest of Yunnan Province, the snub-nosed monkey is a monkey species, known so far, living at the highest altitude. With black-haired back and white-haired rump, belly and chest, an adult snub-nosed monkey is generally 20-30 kilogrammes in weight and 55-80 centimeters in length. It is a social animal with alert disposition. At present, the population of snub-nosed monkey in Yunnan is less than 1500, and it is the first- class state-protection animal.
The gibbon in the dense forest of Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province is similar to man in body structure, physiological function and habits, and disposition. With a fine body shape and long arms the gibbon can move nimbly in trees as birds do, and it is renowned as the “acrobat” among animals. Besides, The gibbon is the animal of sensation; whenever there is injury, illness or death in the community, it will not sing or sport for quite a long time to express its sympathy and grief to its companions.
Leaf-capped monkey--a monkey with a hat on
The leaf-capped monkey is dark-faced and wears gray hairs except the black ends of the four limbs and the black end of the tail. The hairs on its head are light-colored and a bit long, which looks like a hat from the distance, hence the name. Living in trees of tropical and subtropical forests, the leaf-capped monkey, which can only be found in the southwest of Yunnan in China, is social and omnivorous animal and is under the first-class state protection.
Slender Loris--"a lazy bone" among monkeys
The slender loris, the first-class state-protection animal, belongs to lorisid, primate order, and can be found in Southeast Yunnan and North Vietnam. The loris is about 32-37 centimeters in length with a round head, small ears and big, round eyes. With brown hairs on the back and sides and grayish white hairs in the belly, the loris has thick and short limbs with its tail hidden in thick hairs. Hiding by day and coming out at night, the loris acts slowly. Therefore, it has the reputation for its “laziness”, and is nicknamed as a lazy bone among animals.
Binturong--a leopard cat that can twine and grab things with its tail
The binturong, which is under the first-class state protection, is a kind of civet. It has a body-long tail that can twine and grab things, which is unique in animals of its kind. Living in trees of subtropical forests, the binturong can be found in Yunnan Province and Guangxi Region.
Black-necked Crane--the elegant national treasure
The black-necked crane is tall and big with grayish white body and velvety black neck and head, thus the name. Inhabiting the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the black-necked crane is the only alpine species of cranes and is peculiar to China. Besides, it is also the latest that has been discovered among the 15 species of cranes on earth. Owing to its population of only over 5000, the black crane is included in CITES (the Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species Of Wild Fauna And Flora). The black-necked crane is a migratory bird. Every early October, it migrates from the cold Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to mild Yunnan at a lower altitude to survive the winter; according to statistics, the number of the black-necked crane living through the winter in Yunnan amounts to more than 2500; for its elegance and beauty, the black-necked crane is regarded as the symbol of beauty, luck and happiness. Dashanbao in Zhaotong Prefecture of Yunnan is a paradise for the Black-necked cranes; every winter thousands of black-necked cranes gather here presenting a beautiful view.
Lady Amherst’s Pheasant--the most popular pheasant for display
The Lady Amherst’s pheasant inhabits forests and bushes in the mountainous regions in Southwest China. It is a omnivorous bird and feeds on both plants and insects. In breeding season, the male Lady Amherst’s pheasant will take up an area and its cries will ring out continuously in the mountain forests. Since the 19th century, the Lady Amherst’s pheasant has been introduced for many times to Great Britain and some other countries, and now is the most popular pheasant for display in the world.
Wild Elephant Valley in Xishuangbanna--the best place to watch elephants in China
The elephant is the biggest terrestrial animal in the world, and the only survived are two species, namely the African elephant and the Asian elephant. The wild Asian elephant can be found in the south of 24.6º northlatitude in Xishuangbanna of Yunnan in China, and in some regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. There being only several hundred in China, the wild Asian elephant is under the first-class state protection and is included in CITES; in recent years, more importance is paid to the protection of wild elephants. Living in the Wild Elephant Valley in Sanchahe tropical rainforest of Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Prefeture are a considerable number of wild Asian elephants, which can be seen from observation stands built in the giant Chinese Banyans; another observation station is in Mengyang Nature Reserve, Xishuangbanna.
An Impregnable Pass for Birds--the transfer station for migratory birds
By the end of 1994, there were 1247 species of birds in China, of which 793 were in Yunnan, making up 63.5% of the total. Now, it is generally acknowledged by ornithologists at home and abroad that Yunnan is a favorable place for bird study and a paradise to birds. Migration is the important characteristics of migratory birds. In Weishan County of Dali Prefecture, there is Longqinguan Mountain Pass that is the only pass for the migration of birds; beside the pass in the dense virgin forest at an altitude of 2700 meters stands a horizontal slabstone with the inscription of “An Impregnable Pass For Birds”, which, according to textual research, was inscribed in Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty more than 500 years ago, and is the earliest record of the pass for migrants. As well as the pass for migrants, Longqinguan Mountain Pass was also an important pass for horses caravans.
Seagulls in the Spring City--spend winter with seagulls
When winter comes, thousands upon thousands of red-beaked seagulls fly from Siberia to spend winter in Kunming, and they bring new sights for people. The red-beaked seagull, a common medium-sized gull in the Northern Hemisphere, is extensively distributed in Eurasia, where the vast land between 45º and 68º north latitude is its breeding place in summer, and then it migrates to the south to survive winter. The red-beaked seagull normally feeds on little fishes, shrimps and insects.