An ink painting depicting a mountain range from Book of Mountains and Rocks (Shuan Shih P’u).

The Qinling Range is located in north-central China between the Huang (Yellow) River and the Yangzi (Chang) River. It is one of the last remaining places in China where pandas may be seen in the wild.

The Qinling Range, with an area of 55,000 square kilometers, covers about 20 percent of Shaanxi Province in north-central China. It is a part of the Kunlun mountain range, which spans about 1,500 kilometers. The highest mountain in the Qinling Range is Taibai, at 3,763 meters.

The climate on the south side of the Qinling Range is warm and humid year around, and the north side of the range is dry and cold in the winter. The Qinling Range is also a watershed between the Wei River, a branch of the Huang (Yellow) River, and the Han River, which flows into the Yangzi (Chang) River. The Qinling Range has been called a “God-given gift to the Earth.”

The Qinling Range is famous for its pandas, which are at the top of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Endangered Species List, with fewer than one thousand left in the world. The Qinling Range is one of the few places in China where pandas may be seen in the wild.

Economic development, however, has threatened much of the wildlife in the Qinling Range. The extraction of copper, manganese, lead, zinc, gold, and silver (much of it for China’s information technology industry, as well as for its space program) has increased in the northern and western parts of the range. In order to develop Xi’an, the provincial capital, construction began in 1998 on the 18-kilometer-long Qinling Tunnel on the Xi’an-Ankang Railway; the project, completed a year ahead of schedule, received the first-place award at the State Science and Technology Award Conference in Beijing in 2003. This was the second tunnel to be built in the Qinling Range: During the 1950s the Chinese built the Raoji-Chengdu Railway using the first 2-kilometer-long Qinling Tunnel. Environmentalists do not know the future consequences to wildlife, including pandas, of these economic developments.

Further Reading

Jing, Wang-Chun, Jie-Mei Xu, & Lei Yang. (1999). A study on cytotaxonomy of sect. Anguinum of allium. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 37(1), 20–34.

Zhang Zhenglu, Zhentao Yang, Shaquan Xu, & Xiangduo Zhang. (2000). Precise leveling of the very long Qinling Mountain Tunnel. Geo-Spatial Information Science. 3(1), 52–61.

Dream different dreams on the same bed.


Tong chuáng yì mèng

Source: Suganuma, Unryu. (2009). Qinling Range. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 1854–1856. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.

The Qinling range is one of the last remaining places in China where pandas may be seen in the wild.

Qinling Range (Qínlǐng Shānmài 秦岭山脉)|Qínlǐng Shānmài 秦岭山脉 (Qinling Range)

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