Despite Guangxi’s diverse landscape and pleasant climate, the range of wildlife is somewhat limited. Walking around Yangshuo, the main signs of life you’ll see are little more than street dogs and cats – as well as the hundreds of mosquitos you’ll be batting from yourself. You may have to search a bit harder if you want to find anything more interesting than cows working in the paddy fields, but prominent types of wildlife include water buffalo, bison, boars, gibbons, and hedgehogs.
The domestic Yangshuo water buffalo is closely related to cattle yaks, descending from one common ancestor; the wild Asian water buffalo, which is now an endangered species. Water Buffalos are used as draft and dairy animals and can be often seen in Yangshuo pulling ploughs through the paddy.
As well as water buffalo, bison can also be seen hard at work on the paddy fields in Yangshuo, helping to pull heavy carts and aiding with other heavy duties on the farm.
Monkey brain is a delicacy in parts of Guangxi and macaques are often hunted for food. Because of this, many species of monkey or ape in China are endangered.
The Hainan gibbon (male – black, female – white) is incredibly rare, with left than 20 left in protected zones in Southern China. It’s close family member, the eastern black crested gibbon is nearly as rare with only 20 or so left in the Guangxi and 30 in Vietnam.
Other varieties include the pygmy slow loris and Bengal slow loris. These are also endangered and are Class I protected species.
On Guangxi’s coast, a small number of protected Dugongs can be found in the Hepu Dugong National Nature Reserve, near Beihai, created in 1992 for their protection.
Despite efforts to protect them the numbers continue to decrease.
Bats are a sign of good fortune in China and found in great abundance and variety. It is because of this that feces are used frequently in traditional Chinese medicine, collected from caves and other hideouts.
Fruit bats are the most common species in China, including the greater and lesser short-nosed fruit bat, Blanford’s fruit bat and the cave nectar bat. Fruit bats are sometimes considered pests by fruit farmers and are hunted and eaten in parts of Guangxi.
The hedgehog found in Guangxi province is the Amur hedgehog, similar in look and behaviour to those found in Europe, although it is slightly more coloured.
The Manchurian wild boar is the largest of the wild boar species. The wild boar was brought to China over 8,000 years ago and remains a common sight in the countryside. it is from the domestication of these boars that we get farm-raised domesticated pigs throughout China. On occasion, boars will still interbreed with farm-raised pigs.