Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of of China, consisting of various islands in the South China Sea.
There are numerous protected areas and wildlife preserves on the island. Animals that are ubiquitous throughout the island include frogs, toads, geckos, skinks, and butterflies. Present, but less commonly observed, are snakes, Siberian chipmunks, squirrels, and the masked palm civet. Almost no large animals remain in the wild. The lakes are largely populated with carp and catfish.
There are 362 known bird species. Seabirds such as gulls are not generally seen. Egrets and Black-winged kites are common in agricultural areas. Similar to many subtropical areas, insect species are diverse, and mosquitoes are very common.
In the ocean, sea turtles and whale sharks are known to migrate in these waters.
Hainan island has rich bio-diversity of cetaceans and is the site of studying these in Chinese waters. Many whales such as North Pacific right whales, western gray whales, humpback whales, and blue whales were historically seen in the winter and spring to mate and calve. These gentle giants of the sea had been hunted heavily and were wiped out by Japanese whalers, A few Bryde's whales and minke whales may still occur in the adjacent waters along with on Leizhou Peninsula and the Gulf of Tonkin. Smaller species of whale and dolphins, such as short-finned pilot whales and pantropical spotted dolphins, but most notably the endangered Chinese white dolphin. Declared sanctuary for the species extends along the coasts. These dolphins may appear among clearer waters such as vicinity to Sanya.
Dugongs still occur in small number, mostly on Gulf of Tonkin side.
Notable species include: