The species and varieties of Chinese wildlife are tremendous. According to statistics compiled by Chinese zoologists, there are more than 400 species of mammals in China, or nearly 10 percent of the 4,200 species in the whole world. China has 1,183 species of birds, which is more than 13 percent of the world's 8,600 species. This wealth is due not only to China's vast territory (9-6 million square kilometers), but also to its favorable zoo geography. Most countries, big or small, cover a single geographic region. For instance, big countries, such as Canada, the United States of America and the former Soviet Union, belong to the Nearctic Region or the Palaearctic Region only. A few countries, such as India and Mexico, have most of their territory in a single region, but a minor part belongs to a neighboring subregion, hence their faunal species are very rich. However, China is exceptional in that her vast territory is almost equally divided into two regions (the Palaearctic and the Oriental). As a result, her faunal species are incomparably great.
China's unique zoogeographic region extends north to the subarctic zone in the northern part of the Palaearctic Region and south deep into the tropical and subtropical zones in the Oriental Region, thus enabling Chinese fauna to comprise all species of typical arctic animals and typical tropic animals.
The country also extends from the sea west to its interior frontier, crossing gobis, deserts, semideserts, grassy plains, high plains, mountains, hills and mounds, forests, jungles and swamps, each with its peculiar ecological species, unmatched not only by small countries, but even by countries with greater territory. Her rich fauna includes a large number of very rare and precious species, admired by wildlife lovers of many countries. These are what we intend to introduce to readers of this book.