China designates six new Ramsar sites
The paperwork has been completed for the People's Republic of China's newest additions to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, designated with effective date of last World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008. China has now designated 36 Ramsar sites, totaling 3,168,210 hectares, and globally the Convention now has 1,828 Ramsar sites covering a surface area of 168,985,680 hectares. The WWF International Freshwater Programme has been very helpful in terms of financial support for this work, and the WWF China Programme Office with technical support.
Ramsar's Pragati Tuladhar has drawn up these brief site descriptions for the Annotated Ramsar List, based on the information contained in the Ramsar Information Sheets that accompanied the designations.
Fujian Zhangjiangkou National Mangrove Nature Reserve. 02/02/08; Fujian; 2,358 ha; 23°55′N 117°25′E). National Nature Reserve. Dominated by mangrove forest in the estuary area and including intertidal mudflats and salt marshes, located in the estuary of Zhangjian River. Due to high productivity, high decomposition and restitution rate, the mangrove coastal marsh and coastal arenaceous vegetation provides habitat for more than 154 birds species, including IUCN Red-listed species like Daimao (Eretmochelys imbricate), Lengpigui(Dermochelys coriacea), Xigui (Caretta caretta), Taipingyangligui( Lepidochelys olivacea), Huangzuibailu( Egretta eulophotes), andHeizuiou (Larus saundersi), as well as 240 other aquatic animal species and 224 vascular plants. It is also a spawning and breeding place for important fish species like Yicheng (Sinonovacula constricat), Banji (Clupanodom puncthatus), and Ziyu(Mugil cephalus). The site plays an important role in typhoon resistance, coastline protection, purifying water and maintenance of regional microclimate. Aquaculture is practiced here for local economic purposes. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1726. Most recent RIS information: 2008.
Guangdong Haifeng Wetlands. 02/02/08; Guangdong; 11,591 ha; 22°59′N 115°19′E. Nature Reserve. A complex of intertidal mudflats, permanent shallow marine water, sand beaches, permanent rivers, reservoirs, aquaculture ponds and mangrove marshes located on the South China coast, located along the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. The site harbors 163 bird species, among which 25 species are on the National Protected Species list, including endangered and vulnerable IUCN Red List species like Xiaoqingjiaoyu (Tringa guttifer), Wudiao (Aquila clanga), Heizuiou (Larus saundersi), andHualianya (Anas Formosa) and it supports the 1% threshold for Heilianpilu (Platalea minor), Juanyutihu (Pelecanus crispus),Luowenya (Anas falcate),andFengtoupiti (Podiceps cristatus). Flood regulation, water supply, regional microclimate regulation, and water quality purification are multiple functions of the wetland. In the past, reclamation of coastal wetlands into farmlands and fisheries were the biggest threat, but that has declined due to the restoration of the wetlands after their establishment as a Nature Reserve. Ramsar site no. 1727. Most recent RIS information: 2008.
Guangxi Beilun Estuary National Nature Reserve. 02/02/08; Guangxi; 3,000 ha; 21°34’N 108°08’E. Nature Reserve. Mangrove forest as well as intertidal mudflats located on the Belium River, the boundary river between China and Viet Nam, which also lies on the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. Semi –closed bays , open estuary coasts , sandy beaches with mangrove vegetation provide habitat for 187 bird species including IUCN Red- List vulnerable and endangered species like Heilianpilu (Platalea minor), Huangzuibailu (Egretta eulophotes), Qingtouqianya (Aythya baeri), and Heizuiou (Larus saundersi), and 240 species of large zoo benthos and more than 1,400 species of higher plants. The site plays a substantial role in shoreline protection, alleviating floods caused by typhoons and resisting the tide’s impacts. A visitor centre has been built for education and training purposes, especially for the school students. Ramsar site no. 1728. Most recent RIS information: 2008.
Hubei Honghu Wetlands. 02/02/08; Hubei; 43,450 ha; 29°50´N 113°19´E. Nature Reserve.The seventh largest freshwater lake of China, located on the northern bank of middle Yangtze river along the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. IUCN Red Listed species like Anser cygnoides, Ciconia boyciana, Mergus squamatus, Aythya baeri, andMetasequoia glyptostroboides are found here, and the site supports 1% threshold for Phalacrocorax carbo, Podiceps cristatus, Anser anser, Anser fabalis, Anser albifrons, and Platalea leucorodia. The aquatic, polar and willow vegetation provides habitat for 139 bird species, 62 fish species,6 amphibian species, 12 reptile species,13 mammal species, 379 zooplanktons, 472 vascular plants species and 280 phytoplankton species. Flood regulation, fisheries, regional climate regulation, and water quality enhancement are ecosystem services provided by the site. In the past, reclamation, construction, and aquaculture were threats at the site; however, since the designation as nature reserve, these threats have been improved. Qingshui fort, at the centre of Honghu Wetland, is a relic of Wuling and the famous ancient battlefield of 208. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1729. Most recent RIS information: 2008.
Shanghai Yangtze Estuarine Wetland Nature Reserve for Chinese Sturgeon. 02/02/08; Shanghai; 3,760 ha; 31°31’N 122°05’E. Nature Reserve. A estuarine salt-fresh water wetlands in the estuarine area of the Yangtze river, the third largest in the world. The wetland provides habitat for IUCN Red Listed species like Baixun or Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius), Baiqitun (Lipotes vexillifer), and Moxiangjing (Physeter macrocephalus), and it provides critical refuge for Chinese Sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) as well as breeding place for important economic fish species. 332 fish species are found here. Deposition of large amounts of sands, mud and nutrition accelerates the development of coast, maintaining the nutrient level of the water body which plays important role in levelling ground water table, purifying water quality, and stabilizing microclimate conditions. The shipping business is potential threat to site. A management plan is in place. Ramsar site no. 1730. Most recent RIS information: 2008.
Sichuan Ruoergai Wetland National Nature Reserve. 02/02/08; Sichuan; 166,570 ha; 33°43’N 102°44’E. Nature Reserve. Said to be the largest alpine peat marsh in the world as well as tundra wetland located in the upstream area of the Yellow River and the northeast of Qinghai –Tibet Plateau at 3,422m-3,704m altitude. A marsh meadow vegetation provides habitat for 137 bird species including IUCN Red-List species Chai (Cuon alpinus),Yudaihaidiao (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), andHeijinghe or Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), as well as 38 animal species, 3 amphibian species,15 fish species, 3 amphibian species and 362 wild plant species. The site is also referred to as the water tower of China, as it serves the important water supply area of upper Yangtze River and Yellow River. The site stores peat of 7 billion m3 and has water-holding capability of nearly 10 billion m3. It contributes to local climate regulation, water and soil conservation, and aids in reducing green house effects. A high touristic place with a unique ecosystem, panoramic plateau landscape, and colorful Tibetan culture with great aesthetic value. Desertification and decrease in marsh area have occurred due to global warming and rainfall reduction. Ramsar site no. 1731. Most recent RIS information: 2008.