Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis ©Craig Brelsford Website
Birding Guangxi

Strictly speaking Guangxi is not a province but an Autonomous Region but it has more or less the same political status as a province.It is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. Its location in southern China, along its border with Vietnam, and mountainous terrain, has made it one of the border frontiers of Chinese civilisation. Even into the 20th century it was considered an open, wild territory. The current name ‘Guang’ itself means ‘expanse’, and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in 226 AD. It was given provincial level status during the Yuan Dynasty and in 1949 was reformed as one of China’s five minority autonomous regions. The abbreviation of the province is (Gui), which comes from Guilin, former capital, centre of much of Guangxi’s culture, politics, and history, and currently a major city in the autonomous region.Guangxi is a mountainous region. The Nanling Mountains are found in the northeast border, with the Yuecheng Mountains and Haiyang Mountains being its shorter branching ridges. Nearer to the centre of the region are the Dayao Mountains and the Daming Mountains. To the north there are the Duyao Mountains and the Fenghuang Mountains, while on the southeast border there are the Yunkai Mountains. The highest point is Mount Mao’er located in the Yuecheng Mountains, at 2141 m.Many rivers cut valleys through the mountains. Most of these rivers form the tributary basin of the West River.Guangxi has a short coastline on the Gulf of Tonkin. Important seaports include Beihai, Qinzhou and Fangchenggang.Guangxi has a subtropical climate. Summers are generally long and hot. Average annual temperature is 17 to 23°C, while average annual precipitation is 1250 to 1750 mm.

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Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 673

    (As at August 2018)
  • Number of endemics: 1

    Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis

    The region is also home to a number of birds endemic to China: Elliot's Pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti Silver Oriole Oriolus mellianus Yellow-bellied Tit Pardaliparus venustulus Martens's Leaf Warbler Seicercus omeiensis Kloss's Leaf Warbler Seicercus ogilviegranti Elliot's Laughing-thrush Trochalopteron elliotii as well as one 'Breeding endemic': Alström's Leaf Warbler Seicercus soror

Useful Reading

  • Birding South East China

    By Tim J Woodward | Tim Woodward | 2006 Paperback | 423 pages, 88 colour photos, 160 maps | ISBN: 9628508423 Buy this book from
  • The Birds of Hong Kong and South China

    By Clive Viney, Karen Phillips & Lam Chiu Ying | Hong Kong Government Information Service | 2005 | Paperback | 255 pages, 91 colour plates, b/w illus, 4 maps | ISBN: 9620204042 Buy this book from
  • Guangxi Biodiversity Research and Conservation Association

    See Wuying Lin (the scientific director's) Linked-In page: Wuying Lin

Abbreviations Key

  • NNR Huaping

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Huaping National Nature Reserve, 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) from Guilin, occupies an area of 140 square kilometers (about 54 square miles). As the first natural reserve set up in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, it is established mainly to protect the living fossil, silver firs and the ecosystem of typical evergreen broadleaf forest. The Reserve boasts 118 species of higher animals and some of them are national protected animals such as rhesus monkeys and musk deer…
  • NNR Shankou Mangrove Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    The biosphere reserve includes mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass habitats. This combination of three coastal habitats in a single location is rare along China’s coast.
Trip Reports
  • 2008 [07 July] - Bjorn Anderson - Nonggang Nature Reserve

    …July is of course not the best time to go birding in South China, due to the rainy monsoon season. However the attraction of seeing Nonggang Babbler was hard to resist much longer and it coincided very well with Jocko being in China…
  • 2015 [12 December] - Craig Brelsford & Elaine Du

    At Longheng, a village near Nonggang National Nature Reserve in Guangxi, Nonggang Babbler has gone from “unknown to science” to “automatic tick.”
  • 2016 [06 Jun] - Matthew Kwan - Nonggang

    It was here that a bird had evaded scientists and ornithologists for centuries, hiding away in the limestone karst landscape that make up this unique area, it wasn't until 2008 that this species was first described by Chinese ornithologists Zhou Fang and Jiang Aiwu (not just a split new species, but a completely new species unknown to science!), and appropriately named the Nonggang Babbler...
  • 2017 [11 Nov] - Matthew Kwan - Nonggang

    Nonggang, Guangxi. A mere 25km from the Vietnamese border and set within Longzhou county. My first visit to this location in 2016 was most memorable, with some species not easy to find anywhere in China plus the endemic and highly sought after Nonggang Babbler that was only described in 2008...
  • 2018 [06 June] - Lo Chun Fai

    ...The White-eared Night Heron is one of our dream ticks when studying South-east China bird guide because it is so secretive due to its nocturnal behavior and small population size. I missed two times for seeing the night heron, one in Zhejiang because of my schedule; and one in Guangxi because of bad weather. This year, when I found a paper about the breeding of White-eared Night Heron in Guangxi, I decided to try our luck again....
Other Links
  • 56 Wildlife Nature Reserves Established in Guangxi

    The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has set up 56 nature reserves, initially forming a comprehensive and reasonably distributed nature reserve network for the effective protection of wildlife resources.
  • Ornithological surveys of two reserves in Guangxi province

    In September–October 2004 and April–May 2005,we surveyed parts of two recently established reserves insouthern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, People’sRepublic of China (henceforth called Guangxi)...

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