We estimate that roughly one-third of Gaoligongshan's total area is now devoted exclusively to agriculture and other uses that preclude maintenance of biodiversity. In most cases, primary forests existing at the establishment of the three Nature Reserves have been conserved effectively. However, small-scale (but largely unmonitored and uncontrolled) tree-felling and other vegetation disturbance continues in many areas. Despite these lapses, forests are in better condition within, than outside of, established Nature Reserves. As well, the future for these forests looks brighter than for those surviving outside Reserves: at the very least, county governments are not free to convert them into pine plantations.
In contrast, hunting has been reduced only slightly — much less effectively than forest cutting has been. Although it is possible to find evidence of persistence of some rare animal species, and some Nature Reserve personnel believe there are indications that sensitive and rare species are showing an upward trend, poaching of animals is still common, particularly of smaller-bodied or lesser-known species. Although it seems well established that wellknown species (e.g. Takin) must be strictly protected, many species at equal or greater risk of extirpation and equally protected legally (e.g. some species of pheasants), do not enjoy such effective protection.