Yunnan Lakes




J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Montane freshwaters

Drainages flowing into

Yangtze, Xi Jiang (Pearl River)

Main rivers to other water bodies

Lakes Dianchi, Fuxion, Qilu, Yangzong, Xingyun, and Yilong



The Yunnan Lakes (Dianchi, Fuxion, Qilu, Yangzong, Xingyun, and Yilong) are located on the Yunnan Plateau in southern China.

Terrestrial habitats

The Yunnan lakes lie within the Yunnan Plateau subtropical evergreen forests ecoregion (Wikramanayake et al. 2002).

Description of endemic fishes

There are 16 recorded endemics in the Balitoridae and Cyprinidae families. Some of the endemics are listed as critically endangered (Yunnanilus discoloris, Cyprinus fuxianensis) or endangered (Schizothorax lepidothorax) according to the IUCN Red List (IUCN 2012).

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For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008). The Yunnan lakes have been noted as exceptional for freshwater biodiversity interest (Kottelat & Whitten 1996).


  • 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.
  • Kottelat, M. and Whitten, T. (1996) \Freshwater biodiversity in Asia with special reference to fish, World Bank Technical Paper No. 343\ Washington, DC, USA. The World Bank.
  • IUCN (2012) \IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2\ "<"">" (21 May 2013)