The Zhongdian Heavy-Lip Fish, Ptychobarbus chungtienensis (Tsao 1964) is endemic to the Yunnan Plateau. Historically it has been found in the little Zhong Dian River, Naya River, and the Bita Sea, all of which are in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and part of the Qinghai Tibetan plateau. In response to declining wild populations and increasing risk factors, the government recently released a "China Red Species List" identifying Endangered (EN) species, including P. chungtienensis.
As part of the 2008 national "Eleventh Five-Year National Science and Technology Support Program," and matching grants from the Yunnan Province Science and Technology, an original phylogeny and biogeography study group headed by W.S. Jiang from the Kunming Institute of Zoology was commissioned to P. chungtienensis and continue aquatic biological monitoring in the known distribution area. In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology (2013, 29), the research team reported that P. chungtienensis is now more endangered than before, with only certain populations remaining in Bita.
To accompany the published field data, the research group also used a whirlpool model to analyze and predict how changes in the environment may influence population trends over the coming decades. The results of the experiment that modeled the viability of the P. chungtienensis population under ideal conditions over the next 100 years while controlling for population dynamics, human disturbance, natural disasters and external factors were recently published in the Chinese-language edition of the Journal of Hydroecology (2012, 33 (5))
Together, both articles from the Journal of Applied Ichthyology and Journal of Hydroecology will form the basis of a new book that introduces this unique species as well as the biological and resource monitoring methods in the wetland and plateau regions in China.