Taxonomic and systematic research progress of mammals in China
YU Wenhua, HE Kai, FAN Pengfei, CHEN Bingyao, LI Sheng, LIU Shaoying, ZHOU Jiang, YANG Qisen, LI Ming, JIANG Xuelong, YANG Guang, WU Shibao, LU Xueli, HU Yibo, LI Baoguo, LI Yuchun, JIANG Tinglei, WEI Fuwen, WU Yi
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Rich mammalian diversity in China ranks it as one of the key groups in maintaining ecological function. Since Mr. John R. Reeves conducted the first mammalian survey in Guangdong, China, from 1829 to 1834, Chinese mammal taxonomic and systematic researches have made remarkable progress in the past 200 years. Presently, the number of mammal species in China has reached 686, representing about 10% of all mammals and making it one of the most diverse countries in mammal species in the world. As China attaches greater importance to ecological protection, the ecological environment is increasingly improved. Nevertheless, along with global climate change, increasing human activities and the emergence of major human-animal epidemics, the importance of mammal surveys and taxonomic clarification has become more apparent. Meanwhile, this traditional discipline is constantly incorporating state-of-art techniques, such as integrative taxonomy, digitization of specimens, type specimens sequencing technique, portable sequencing techniques and deep learning-based species identification, with the goals of verifying species identification, building proper taxonomic classifications, and promoting the application and transformation of taxonomic achievements to other discipline. Animal taxonomy, a traditional basic discipline, is also the basis for many branches in modern biology, such as genetics, physiology, ecology, medicine and pharmacology. However, due to distinct characteristics among disciplines, it has not received sufficient attention in recent years. It is thus necessary to value traditional taxonomy, morphology and other basic disciplines at the national level, and provide special policy and financial support on talent training and funding.