Located in the southwest part of Shennongjia Forestry District, Hubei Province, Shennongjia Global Geopark is a geopark that integrates tectonic geomorphology and mountain ecosystems. With a total area of 1,022.72km2, the Geopark consists of five subareas: Shennongding, Guanmenshan, Tianyanya, Dajiuhu and Laojunshan.
During its geological history of 1.9 billon years, Shennongjia area experienced multiple tectonic movements, forming very special alpine structural landform. Shennong Peak, with an altitude of 3,106.2m, is the highest peak in central China. All the six mountains over 3,000m high gather here, constituting the “Roof of Central China”, the watershed of Yangtze River and Hanjiang River in Hubei Province. Shennongjia Group, a complete set of strata formed in Mesoproterozoic, is an very important geological heritage; the diabase dyke exposed in the Geopark provides good evidence to the splitting of Rodinia supercontinent in geological history; the moraine conglomerate of Neoproterozoic Nantuo Formation is the relic of ancient global ice age; the widely distributed stromatolite is important evidence for the research on prehistoric organic evolution and sedimentation environment. These geological relics, as well as cap dolomite of Doushantuo Formation of Sinian System, quaternary glacial landform, Dajiuhu wetland section, etc., are of great significance for the research on paleoclimate, paleogeography and geological evolution. Over 200 mountainous landform, structural landform, fluvial landform, karst landform and glacial landform sites make the Geopark a natural geological museum.
As a well-preserved oasis in inland China and very rare green wonderland in the mid-latitude region of the world, Shennongjia is one of the global 14 key areas with international significance in biodiversity conservation and research, and among the world’s 193 biogeographic provinces, Shennongjia has the most typical and well-preserved eco-system of the mid-latitude regions. In Shennongjia, there are 493 vertebrate species, 4,143 insect species, 3,239 higher plant species, 926 lower plant species; 73 national key protected animal species including Golden Snub-nosed Monkey and Panthera pardus, 26 national key protected plant species including Davidia involucrate and gingko, 116 regional endemic plant species including Shennong crossostepium leaf and Armeniaca hongpingensis, and over 30 albinal animal species including white bear and white muntjac. Shennongjia is not only a world-famous “Green Pearl” and “Species Gene Bank”, but also a “refuge for species in the quaternary glacier disaster”.
Shennongjia got its name from the legend that Shennong, a.k.a Emperor Yan, one of the first ancestors of Chinese people, built a scaffold here to collect medicinal herbs. The ancient legend of Shennong, the world-famous mystery of “Yeren” or “Wildman”, The Darkness Legend that is known as the creation epic of Han nationality, the characteristic local customs, the primitive and mysterious mountain culture…all endow the Geopark with profound cultural connotation and characteristics.
Abundant and diversified geological relics, primitive and natural eco-environment and long-standing history and culture of Shennongjia make a world-rare geopark. GGN experts praised that Shennongjia Global Geopark perfectly combines geology, ecology and culture, representing a new model of development of geoparks. Shennongjia Global Geopark welcomes guests to appreciate the geological wonders at the latitude of 31°N, feel the primitive forest at the northern bank of the Yangtze Three Gorges, climb the “Roof of Central China”, experience the agricultural culture initiated by Shennong, see the “national treasure” Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, and explore the unsolved mystery of “Yeren”.
Chen Jin-xin, Feng Chun-ying
Administration Bureau of Shennongjia Geopark
No.31 Chulin Road, Muyu Town, Shennongjia Forestry District, Hubei Province, P.R. China
Phone: 86-13477999007, 86-15871097449
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