Er Hai




J. Hales




Pending review.

Major Habitat Type

Montane freshwaters

Drainages flowing into

Mekong River

Main rivers to other water bodies

Lake Er Hai, Miju, Mici, Bolou, and Yangbi rivers



This ecoregion encompasses the basin of Er Hai (or Tali) Lake, in Yunnan, China. It is bordered to the west by the Cangshan Mountains.

Terrestrial habitats

Terrestrial ecoregions include the Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests and the Ynnun Plateau subtropical evergreen forests (Wikramanayake et al 2002).

Description of endemic fishes

Endemics to this ecoregion include Poropuntius cogginii and Homatula erhaiensis.

Justification for delineation

For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Chu & Chen 1990; Chu et al. 1989). It is distinguished by several endemics that are threatened or possibly extinct. Er Hai Lake is connected to the Mekong basin by a narrow gorge and high waterfall. Geological evidence indicates, however, a former relationship with the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) and Song Hong (Red River) basins. This is also supported by the aquatic fauna (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006).


  • Abell, Robin,M.L. Thieme,C. Revenga,M. Bryer,M. Kottelat,N. Bogutskaya,B. Coad,N. Mandrak,S.C. Balderas,W. Bussing,M.L.J. Stiassny,P. Skelton,G.R. Allen,P. Unmack,A. Naseka,R. Ng,N. Sindorf,J. Robertson,E. Armijo,J.V. Higgins,T.J. Heibel,E. Wikramanayake, (2008). "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation" BioScience 58 (5) pp. 403-414.
  • Wikramanayake, Eric,Dinerstein, Eric,Loucks, C.,Olson, D.M.,Morrison, J.,Lamoreux, J. L.,McKnight, M.;Hedao, P. (2002). "Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: A conservation assessment" Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Chu, Xinluo;Chen, Yinrui (1990). "The fishes of Yunnan, China Part II" Beijing: Science Press.
  • Chu, Xinluo,Chen, Yinrui; (1989). "The fishes of Yunnan, China Part I" Beijing: Science Press.