The Annotated Ramsar List: China
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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance
CHINA / CHINE
The Convention on Wetlands came into force for China on 31 July 1992. China presently has 41 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 3,709,853 hectares.
site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas
Bitahai Wetland. 07/12/04; Yunnan; 1,985 ha; 27°50’33”N 099°59’10”E. Provincial Nature Reserve. An alpine wetland between 3,000 and 4,260 meters above sea level, with swamps, lake, peat lands, and adjacent forest cover. The site has very high hydrological values such as flood prevention and control in the key catchment zones of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; as part of the Jinsha River watershed in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, it supplies water to the aquifers and stabilizes the flow in the lower reaches of the Yangtze. The lake is the home of the endemic fish Ptychobarbus chungtienensis chungtienensis and the vulnerable Black-necked crane Grus nigricollis and, situated within the Central Asia and East Asian-Australasia Flyways, it is an important wintering and stopover site for many migratory birds. The Reserve attracts a large number of tourists every year, and partnerships with academic institutes have been established to study and monitor its ecology. Human uses are largely husbandry and agriculture, with a majority of cash income generated from collecting and selling Tricholoma matsutake mushroom, raising cows, and selling dairy products. Since Ramsar designation in 2004, management efforts have been scaled up: frequent patrols were put in place to prevent illegal hunting and fishing, and training on management and biodiversity conservation has been provided to staff. Ramsar site No. 1434. Most recent RIS information: 2012..
Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, Shanghai. 11/01/02; Shanghai; 32,600 ha; 31°38'N 121°58'E. Nature Reserve. An extensive area of fresh and salt water marshes, tidal creeks, and intertidal mudflats at the eastern end of Chongming Island, a lowlying alluvial island in the mouth of the Yangtze River, which supports farmland, fish and crab ponds, and extensive reedbeds. The site is a staging and wintering site for millions of birds, as well as a spawning and feeding ground for 63 species of fish, including the protected Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis). Due to its extraordinary resources and scenic qualities and its proximity to the city of Shanghai 45km away, the site is an attractive destination for ecotourism and environmental education (though the numbers of visitors within the site are regulated), and supports an important fisheries economy as well. Continuing tidal and sedimentation influences on the island itself and development pressures outward from the city are being watched for adverse effects. An ongoing project, parts of it with support from GEF and WWF, is developing the site into a centre for environmental education and training. Ramsar site no. 1144. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Dafeng (Elaphurus davidianus) National Nature Reserve. 11/02/02; Jiangsu; 78,000 ha; 33°05'N 120°49'E. National Nature Reserve. A typical intertidal mudflat ecosystem on the coastline of the Yellow Sea, supporting a wide variety of rare animal species, including 315 species of birds (23 of them nationally protected), 600 of insects and 156 of fish, as well as the threatened Pere David's Deer or "Milu" (Elaphurus davidianus) for which the Reserve was chiefly gazetted. Following the introduction of 39 Milu in 1986, the population has grown to nearly 500 individuals, said to be the largest Milu population in the world; the population is in fact outgrowing the site's capacity, and research on the release of the Milu into the wild is ongoing. The site performs all of the normal coastal wetland functions, such as flood control, sediment retention, and shoreline stabilization, to a high degree. Ecotourism and education are carried out within the site, with some 150,000 visitors per year, and the surrounding areas are used for forestry and agriculture. Agricultural development, including land reclamation, and chemical runoff are seen as significant threats. Ramsar site no. 1145. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Dalai Lake National Nature Reserve, Inner Mongolia. 11/01/02; Inner Mongolia; 740,000 ha; 48°33'N 117°30'E; National Nature Reserve. A complex of lakes, rivers, marshes, shrubs, grasslands and reed beds typical of wetlands in arid steppes, still retaining near-natural conditions. A staging area in the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Flyway, the site is important for some 284 bird species, particularly Anatidae and shorebird species, and exceeds the 20,000 individuals and 1% thresholds for a number of species. Some 30 fish species are supported, of both Siberian and Northeast China types, and some are economically important. The Dalai Lake region, as the only lower land of the Hulunbeir Plateau, has great significance for flood storage, sediment retention, and groundwater recharge, and is critical for maintaining regional climate and increasing air humidity. Tourism offers birdwatching, boating, and traditional Mongolian foods, customs, and cultures, and the area is becoming a center for environmental education and research. Fishing is the primary activity of the water area, accounting for some 10,000 tons of economic fish per year, and livestock grazing in surrounding grasslands involves more than 2 million animals. Over-fishing within the site and over-grazing leading to desertification in the area are listed as potential threats. A management regime is in force. Ramsar site no. 1146. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Dalian National Spotted Seal (Phoca vitulina) Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Liaoning; 11,700 ha; 39°15'N 121°15'E. National Nature Reserve. A coastal area of the Bohai Sea, 20km from Dalian City, consisting of sea floor covered by pedestal rock of between 5 and 40 meters' depth and including over 70 islands and islets with rocky coasts and reefs. The sites provides habitat for 100 species of fish and numerous shellfish, as well as breeding grounds for a number of whale and dolphin species. It is as a reserve for the spotted seal Phoca vitulina, however, that the site is best known and for which it attracts large numbers of tourists from the nearby city and elsewhere. The cycle of the seals' lives is tied to the icing and melting conditions, as, following the adults' migratory routes through the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea, young seals are born on the ice within the site and remain with a nuclear family until the ice breaks up some three months later in March. Following many years of unrestricted hunting, which has been banned since 1983, the spotted seal population has fallen to about 1000 and the species is presently considered endangered. Climate change effects and pollution are thought to be potential threats. Ramsar site no. 1147. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Dashanbao Wetland. 07/12/04; Yunnan; 5,958 ha; 27º24'36''N 103º20'33''E. National Nature Reserve A peat moor in subalpine swamp meadows, between 2,210 and 3,364 meters above sea level, with shallow water vegetation such as Poa annua Linn, Geum aleppicum, and Cyperus serotinus. Major hydrological functions include flood control and water recharge to supply ground water to downstream and hillside spring vents. The site supports the highest concentration, representing 1/5 of the world population, of Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis, a globally vulnerable species, and is important for other migratory waterbirds, such as Mergus squamatus, Ciconia nigra, Grus grus, and Cygnus Cygnus. The Nature Reserve has been actively managed, with the reserve managers cooperating regularly with the local government and residents to protect natural forests, restore the wetland and return farmland to grassland. Since its establishment, 60 injured or ill Black-necked cranes have been rescued, and research and monitoring activities are conducted in collaboration with a number or research institutions. In 2008, the Wetland Research and Monitoring Center of Dashanbao was built with financial support from the government of China. Ramsar site No. 1435. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Dongdongtinghu. 31/03/92; Hunan; 190,000 ha; 29º19’N 112º59’E. Nature Reserve. A freshwater lake with numerous smaller lakes and ponds, marsh, swamp and wet grassland fed by flooding from the Yangtze and four other rivers. The site is extremely important for 20 species of wintering and staging migratory birds, and supports 200 species of fish, of which 20 are commercially important. Ramsar site no. 551. Most recent RIS information: 1997.
Dongzhaigang. 31/03/92; Hainan; 5,400 ha; 19º59’N 110º35’E. Nature Reserve. Small shallow sea bay of extensive intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps. The swamps are important feeding and nursery areas for waterbirds and fish. The site is located in a densely populated region, surrounded by numerous villages and large rice paddies. A mangrove restoration project is under way. Ramsar site no. 553. [reprint of management plan, 1999] Most recent RIS information: 1997.
Eerduosi National Nature Reserve.11/01/02; Inner Mongolia; 7,680 ha; 39°48'N 109°35'E. National Nature Reserve. A typical Euro-Asian grassland and Asian desert with high ecological fragility, including a large number of permanent freshwater and saline lakes and pools, with islands, and human-made aquaculture ponds. The sites supports some 15,000 breeding Relic gull (Larus relictus) in May and is a staging area for 60% of the world's population of that species; some 83 other species of waterbirds are also present, with 18 of them breeding there. Within the site, 16 villages support a population of 6,400 people who rely upon undeveloped argiculture, forestry, and livestock grazing for their livelihoods; fish farming is also practiced within the site. Desertification and soil erosion, and over-extraction of groundwater, in this area adjacent to the Maowusu and Kubuqi Deserts, are seen as potential threats. Land use is under a holistic planning regime under the Nature Reserve authority. Ramsar site no. 1148. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Eling Lake. 07/12/04; Qinghai; 65,907 ha; 34°54'25'' N 097°40'48''E. Nature Reserve. The largest freshwater lake in the Yellow River catchment with high hydrological values, regulating run-offs, retaining sediments, maintaining water quality, and preventing flooding. At over 4,200 meters on semi-arid plateau, the lake is an important habitat for the endangered Saker Falcon Falco cherrug and the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis. It supports endangered mammals such as the vulnerable White lipped Deer Przewalskium albirostris and Wild Yak Bos mutus. A number of endemic fish species can be found including Gymnocypris eckloni Herzenstein and Gymnodiptychus ptychocheilus Herzenstein. The sub-Himalayan plant community forms the main food of livestock and the source of traditional Tibetan herbal medicines. The lake plays an important role in Tibetan Buddhist history and is one of the six holiest sites for pilgrimage. Threats to the site include shrinking glaciers and retreating snow lines caused by global warming, with decreasing water supplies. Ramsar site no. 1436. Most recent RIS information:2012
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.
Gansu Gahai Wetlands Nature Reserve. 01/09/11; Gansu; 247,431 ha; 34°16'40"N 102°26'53"E. National Nature Reserve. A high altitude wetland (average 3,450m) in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Northwest China, part of the largest alpine peat marsh area in the world. The site supports flora and fauna of both the Loess and Tibetan Plateaus which are rarely seen elsewhere. Alpine marshes, seasonal/intermittent herb-dominated marshes, permanent herb-dominated marshes on peatlands and inorganic soils, permanent freshwater lakes, permanent rivers and streams are different types of wetlands in this site. There are 15 threatened species including birds, amphibian and mammals such as the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigriscollis and the Alpine Stream Salamander Batrachuperus tibetanus. It is a regional hotspot of species diversity, with many endemic species of the Tibetan biogeographic region, especially fish and amphibian species. The wetland has a significant function for water storage, carbon storage and flood control. As a result, flood disaster is very rare in this site. The local Tibetan herdsmen and communities practice wetland conservation and wildlife protection as part of their tradition and believe that Gahai Lake is sacred. A management Master Plan was approved in 2000. Ramsar Site no. 1975. Most recent RIS information: 2011
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.
Hangzhou Xixi Wetlands. 07/07/09; Zhejiang; 325 ha; 30º16’N 120º03’E. National Wetlands Park.A complex of ca.400 permanent freshwater ponds connected by channels and rivers representative of both natural and humanmade wetlands in Eastern China. The ponds are dominated by floating plant communities (Azolla imbricate, Salvinia natans and Lemna minor), while herbaceous marshes connect the river and pond wetland areas. 126 species of bird have been recorded at the site, including 28 waterbirds. The site is important for nine threatened species of birds and provides breeding and feeding habitat for a large diversity of fish species, including 5 endemic species. Water within the wetland can be managed through a number of channels and sluices, for both flood control and fish habitat. The wetlands have an important function for groundwater recharge and flood mitigation for downstream Hangzhou City, and they are valued for their importance for 2000 years of cultural history. A special wetland culture has developed over the past 1000 years which combines fish ponds, silk production and mulberry trees; with its sacred Autumn-Snow Temple, the site has long been an inspiration to famous writers and poets. The site receives an average 720,000 visitors per year and is an important centre for wetland education. It is managed in accordance with ecotourism and ecological management plans. Ramsar site no. 1867. Most recent RIS information: 2009.
Heilongjiang Nanweng River National Nature Reserve. 01/09/11; Heilongjiang; 229,523 ha; 51°19'14"N 125°22'52"E. National Nature Reserve. Located in the transitional area between the temperate and cold zone, in northeastern China, the site supports a representative mixture of plants from the Siberian, Inner Mongolian, and Changbai floras. As the largest nature reserve located at the highest latitude in China for forest-marsh wetland ecosystems in the cold-temperate zone, the site holds the most concentrated marsh wetlands in the original coniferous forests of the Great Xing'an Mountains. This site consists of permanent freshwater marshes and ponds, freshwater, tree-dominated wetlands and permanent rivers and supports 442 plant species, 216 bird species and 49 mammal species, including 22 threatened species of birds, mammals and plants such as the critically endangered Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus and the vulnerable Siberian Musk Deer Moschus moscchiferus. It also supports more than 1% of the global population of 17 birds. The wetland is also an important water source for over 10 million people in the Nen River basin and ensures the recharge of 350 million m3 of water for Zhalong Nature Reserve (Ramsar Site) per year. A Master Plan (2006-2015) has been developed which is being implemented. Ramsar Site no. 1976. Most recent RIS information: 2011
Heilongjiang Qixing River National Nature Reserve. 01/09/2011; Heilongjiang; 20,000 ha; 46°44'18"N 132°13'53"E. National Nature Reserve. Located in northeastern China and representative of the inland freshwater marsh type in Northeast Asia. The site is recognized as one of the best preserved natural wetland areas in China, and it supports a diversity of wetland plants and animals, including many waterbirds that also breed there. The large-scale reed marshes are among the most important in the Sanjiang Plain (Northeastern China Region) and have remarkable abilities of water storage and flood control. The site supports 29 threatened species of which 3 are mammals and 26 are birds such as Siberian Crane, Oriental Stork, Red-crowned Crane, Scaly-sided Merganser and Baer's Pochard. The diverse wetland types at the site provide important habitats for many species, including 388 plant species, 201 birds (including 80 waterbirds), 35 mammals, 10 amphibians and reptiles, and 18 fish species. More that 1% of the population of nine waterbirds species is present at the site. It is an ideal base for scientific research, education and popularization of wetland conservation. The rich biodiversity can provide germplasm resources for the development of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture in the region. A Master Plan for management has been developed and implemented. Ramsar Site no. 1977. Most recent RIS information: 2011
Heilongjiang Zhenbaodao Wetland National Nature Reserve. 01/09/2011; Heilongjiang; 44,364 ha; 46°07'40"N 133°38'14"E. National Nature Reserve. Located in northeastern China on the border between China and Russia, the site supports a diversity of freshwater wetland types, mainly river and floodplain wetlands, as well as permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes/pools, herb marshes, shrub marshes, forest marshes, etc. The site, a typical representative wetland area in the cold temperate zone of East Asia, is part of Xingkai Lake-Bulieya Mountains in terms of tectonic setting and has significant functions in terms of water storage and flood control, thereby playing an important role in maintaining eco-security of the catchment. The site supports 13 threatened species of which 8 are birds and 5 are mammals. There are a total of 393 plant species, 171 birds, 61 fish, 16 amphibians and reptiles and 40 mammal species. According to surveys in different years the site supports more that 100,000 individuals and also supports more that 1% of the population of 12 waterbird species. The wetlands in the site are now under strict protection and are not used for agriculture, aquaculture or other production uses; however, with the beautiful landscapes of the Ussuri River and diverse wetlands, it has great potential value for ecotourism and presnetly some 10,000 people visit the site each year. A Master Plan for management has been compiled. Ramsar Site no. 1978. Most recent RIS information: 2011
Honghe National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Heilongjiang; 21,836 ha; 47°49'N 133°40'E. National Nature Reserve. A near-natural marsh ecosystem with a large variety of wetland types, providing support for six endangered and rare species of flora and three of avifauna. The Reserve is the main breeding site for the Oriental stork (Ciconia ciconia), with 200 individuals in autumn, as well as for Black stork, Red-crowned and White-napped cranes, Whooper swan, and Mandarin duck. State-owned farms cultivate rice in the area. Overuse of groundwater and intensive agriculture are viewed as potential threats and a plan to regulate water supplies with a sluice dam has been put forward. Ramsar site no. 1149. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
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, Mergussquamatus, 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.
Huidong Harbor Sea Turtle National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Guangdong; 400 ha; 22°33'N 114°54'E. National Nature Reserve. At the juncture of Daya Bay and Honghai Bay in the South China Sea, presently the only sea turtle protected area in China, with seawater and gently-sloping sandy beaches still in good environmental quality and eminently suitable for sea turtles, which have traditionally been regarded as a divine species and symbol of longevity and good luck in the region. The beach, 1,000m long and 70m wide, surrounded by mountains on the three landward sides, supports as many as 400-500 Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), an IUCN Red List endangered species, during egg-laying. The area is under collective ownership, and the site has been delimited as a fishery protected area by local government - since it received Reserve status in 1992, fishery stocks have benefited. It is felt that the boundaries of the present Reserve, demarcated in 1986, are somewhat too restricted for its conservation purposes, and efforts are being made to expand it. Artificial incubation and breeding ponds have been established to assist young turtles when adverse conditions, such as bad weather, warrant. Ramsar site no. 1150. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Lashihai Wetland. 07/12/04; Yunnan; 3560 ha; 26º53'52'' N 100º08'6'' E. Provincial Nature Reserve. A unique plateau freshwater lake with marsh meadows, located between 2,440 and 3,100 meters above sea level at the headwaters of the Yangtze River in the Hengduan Mountains. The critically endangered White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni and Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri can be found at the site. It is an important migration passage, breeding ground and wintering habitat of nearly 76 species of wild geese and ducks and in total more than 100,000 waterbirds visit the site each year. The water outlet of the lake is connected to the Jinsha River with major hydrological functions of flood control, storage and water balance in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It also supplies drinking water to Lijian City, a famous World Heritage cultural property. As a biodiversity 'hotspot', Lashihai attracts 5000 tourists daily particularly for birdwatching; major protection measures include a ban on fishing, poaching and hunting. With the support of The Nature Conservancy, research on aquatic plants, amphibian and reptiles was carried out between 2005 and 2006. Ramsar Site No. 1437. Most recent RIS information: 2012
Maidika. 07/12/04; Tibet Autonomous Region; 43,496 ha; 31°11'55"N 092°40'51"E. A vast swamp meadow above 4,900 meters, with permanent and seasonal pools and lakes in the headwater region of the Maidicangbu, a tributary stream of the Lhasa River. The site, one of the "highest altitude wetlands with the coexistence of man and nature", performs major hydrological functions such as control of soil erosion, prevention of seasonal floods, interception of sediment from the upper stream and formation of a productive wetland with meadows and swamps. Maidika plays a critical role as a staging and breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl, including the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis. The endangered Snow Leopard Panthera uncia and the endangered Saker Falcon Falco cherrug can be found at the site. This large wetland has an important role in providing water for residents as well as regulating the regional climate of the Lhasa River basin. The lands are mostly state-owned and partly contracted to local Tibetans as pastures for increasing numbers of livestock each year. Ramsar site No.1438. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Mai Po Marshes and Inner Deep Bay. 04/09/95; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; 1,540 ha; 22º29'20'' N 114º01'44'' E. Restricted Area; Site of Special Scientific Interest; Water Quality Control Zone; East Asia-Australasian Flyway Network Site. First designated as a Ramsar site by the United Kingdom, transferred to China in 1997. A shallow coastal bay with extensive intertidal mudflats backed by dwarf mangroves, shrimp and fishponds. The aquaculture activities carried out in Mai Po provide a good example of how artificial or semi-artificial habitats can support a high diversity of wildlife under proper management. Built in the 1930s, the tidal shrimp ponds, known as Gei wais, are drained in rotation throughout the winter and kept drained for a long period of time to attract waterbirds to feed on the remaining small fish or invertebrates. Most of the Gei wais in the site are now managed as roosting and foraging habitats for migratory birds or as freshwater habitats for dragonflies. Thirteen globally threatened species of birds and 17 species of invertebrates new to science are present. The site regularly held over 20% of the global population of Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor between 2007-2012. Another 26 species of waterbirds are found in numbers amounting to more than 1% of their regional population. Research, conservation education, fish farming and recreation are the main activities. Over 40,000 people, of whom 11, 000 are students, visit the reserve annually for birdwatching or informal education visits. Ramsar site no. 750. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Mapangyong Cuo. 07/12/04; Tibet Autonomous Region; 73,782 hectares; 30°44'29"N 081°19'42"E. A high-altitude wetland of the Tibetan plateau (4,500-6,500m asl) covering Mapangyong and Laang Lakes with surrounding swamps and rivers, "one of the highest elevation freshwater wetlands in the world" and a source of the Yalu Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River. It is a spawning and survival habitat for Tibetan plateau endemic fish species Schizopygopsis microcephalus and Triplophysa stewarti and supports large populations of the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis and the endangered Chiru or Tibetan antelope Pantholops hodgsoni, and Snow leopard Uncia uncia. Records between 2008 and 2010 show that the area supports about 80,000 waterbirds annually. Vegetation is dominated by subalpine desert grasslands such as Stipa glareosa with alpine meadow composed of Stipa purpurea, Carex moorcroftii, Poa annua and Caragana versicolor distributed between 4,700-5,000m asl. The lake, situated beside the holy mountain Kang Rinpoche, is a holy place in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and "Black Buddhism" and attracts hundreds of devotees and tourists every year. Local herdsmen use the surrounding wetlands for grazing. Since the area was designated as a Ramsar Site in 2004, several conservation and restoration projects were carried out to improve the protection and signage at the Site, for a total investment of 4.7 million USD. Each year, around 10,000 people visit the site. Ramsar site No. 1439. Most recent RIS information: 2012
Nan Dongting Wetland and Waterfowl Reserve. 11/01/02; Hunan; 168,000 ha; 28°50'N 112°40'E. Nature Reserve. Located in the southern part of Dongting Lake, the largest lake on the plains of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the site supports important numbers of endangered Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana) and Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus), as well as Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), and produces rich fauna and flora of high economic value. It also plays an important role in the regulation and storage of flood water from the Yangtze. Some 14,000 people live within the site, chiefly practicing fishing and aquaculture in human-made ponds and growing economic crops in the mudflat areas, including some 120,000 tons of reeds annually. Deforestation in the upper reaches of the Yangtze is leading to increased flow of mud and sand into the lake bed, and pesticide runoff and industrial pollution are also seen as potential threats. During "Bird Loving Week" activities are carried out for schoolchildren in the region, and some 24,000 birdwatchers visit the site's facilities annually. Ramsar site no. 1151. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Napahai Wetland. 07/12/04; Yunnan; 2,083 ha; 27º51'16'' N 099º38'44''E. Provincial Nature Reserve. A seasonal karst marsh composed of meadow, open water, peatlands, and surrounding forests situated at about 3,260m above sea level, with lake outflow through karst caves draining underground into the Jinsha River in the upper reaches of the Yangtze. It is an important wintering site and staging post for numerous wintering birds, supporting over 70,000 birds annually and over 1% of the population of the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis. The region is economically very poor, but in recent years sightseeing and birdwatching have brought significant economic and social benefits, and it is felt that conservation-based ecotourism will benefit the protection of the ecosystem. Overgrazing and logging in the surrounding area are seen as potential threats. Since 2008, 674 ha of vegetation in the meadows and shallow water areas were restored by stabilizing water levels. The management of the reserve have engaged the local community in the conservation of the site by teaching the villagers how to observe birds and identify rare plants. Ramsar site no. 1440. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Niaodao ("Bird Island"). 31/03/92; Qinghai; 53,600 ha; 36º50'N 100º10'E. Nature Reserve. The lake, centered on an island, is fed by two rivers and numerous smaller rivers originating from mountain snow melt. Marshes are both brackish and fresh, along which a rich alpine meadow community thrives. The site is extremely important for numerous species of breeding birds, wintering Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.), and for staging waterbirds in spring and autumn. Human activities include livestock grazing, fishing, and tourism. Ramsar site no. 552. Most recent RIS information: 1997.
Poyanghu. 31/03/92; Jiangxi; 22,400 ha; 29º10'N 115º59'E. Nature Reserve; Crane Network Site. A large freshwater lake subject to seasonal fluctuations, within a region of subtropical, deciduous broad-leaved and evergreen forest surrounded by marshes and wet grassland fed by five major rivers. The site supports numerous species of plankton, mollusc, fish, and mammals and at least 46 species of birds. It is important for wintering and staging birds and for a population of 20,000 people whose activities include grazing water buffalo, harvesting grass and aquatic vegetation, small-scale cultivation, fishing and a freshwater pearl industry. Wildlife tourism is increasing rapidly. Ramsar site no. 550. Most recent RIS information: 1997.
San Jiang National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Heilongjiang; 164,400 ha; 47°56'N 134°20'E. National Nature Reserve. An alluvial floodplain typical of high-altitude wetlands, a mixture of rivers, open bogs, seasonally flooded meadows, and sedge marshes, the largest area of freshwater wetland in the country. The site is internationally important for waterbirds, particularly ducks, and for fishery resources, and serves as a natural reservoir for the San Jiang Plains, providing vital flood control as well. Due to its remote location and cold winters, human interference has been minimal, though local inhabitants, including 300-400 people of the He Zhe (one of the smallest ethnic groups in China) who support a unique cultural, find abundant animal, fish, and forest resources. Overfishing with small mesh nets and other human effects are seen as potential threats, but rational ecotourism, especially in cooperation with nearby Russia, holds promise. Ramsar site no. 1152. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Shankou Mangrove Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Guangxi; 4,000 ha; 21°28'N 109°43'E. Nature Reserve. Two related areas on either side of the Shatian Peninsula on the Beibu Gulf at the border between Guangzi and Guangdong provinces in the southwest of China, where salt marsh and mangrove forest form a protective barrier for the coastal farmlands and villages. Some 14 species of mangrove are represented, principally Rhizophora stylosa and Avicennia marina, and provide support for a number of vulnerable and endangered species, including Dugong dugon and Chinese dolphin Sotalia sinensis, as well as for a large number of nationally protected bird species. Shrimp culture and improper hunting create pressures, but a management plan is entering implementation. Ramsar site no. 1153. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
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.
Shuangtai Estuary. 07/12/04; Liaoning; 128,000 ha; 40º54'45"N 121º45'41"E. National Nature Reserve. The estuary of the Liao River at Liaodong Bay in northeastern China, the site includes "the essential part of the world's largest reed marsh (Phragmites communis)", a large area of Suaeda community, and shallow sea. The site, which meets eight of the Ramsar Criteria, provides flood control and prevention, maintains groundwater recharge, and retains 10.4 million tons of nutrients and sediment each year, helping to prevent coastal water eutrophication and salt water intrusion. It provides important habitat for resting and breeding of over 100,000 waterbirds from 106 species, including the critically endangered Siberian Crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus and the endangered Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana and Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis, and is the largest breeding site in the world for the vulnerable Saunder's Gull Larus saundersi. The site provides seasonal occupation for 20,000 people for reed irrigation and harvest, oil exploration facility checking, agriculture and aquaculture. Conservation measures include environmental awareness and education for the protection of birds. A Wetland Ecosystem Monitoring Station has been established to observe and study waterbirds and monitor the status of the wetland. So far, about 400ha of Larus saundersi habitat have been restored. Ramsar site no. 1441. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
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.
Xi Dongting Lake (Mupinghu) Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Hunan; 35,000 ha; 29°01'N 112°05'E. Nature Reserve. The important western part of Dongting Lake, comprising open freshwater lake and smaller lakes, some shallow mudflats during low water periods, reed swamp, sphagnum bog, and beaches. The site is very important for rare fish, such as Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), and birds, such as the threatened Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana); in addition it serves as a staging area for many other migrating cranes and storks. Fishing, and increasingly fish-breeding, and livestock grazing are important economic activities dependent upon the site. Industrial pollution, unwise fishing practices, and overproduction of reeds are seen as threats. Conservation research and education, with assistance from WWF, are increasingly important. Because of the extraordinary beauty of the site, with its "deeply green grass and dancing water birds", an increase in ecotourism is being planned for. Ramsar site no. 1154. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Xingkai Lake National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Heilongjiang; 222,488 ha; 45°17'N 132°32'E. National Nature Reserve. A complex wetland system including grassland, marshes, lakes, and forests, contiguous with Russia to the south across the Songacha River. The site, at the northern end of the large lake, provides important breeding habitat for a number of bird species protected in China, and some 65 fish species and more than 460 higher plant species are present. A transboundary nature reserve agreement (including joint training) was established in 1992 with the Khank Nature Reserve in Russia, with the help of the International Crane Foundation, and another in 1996 for management of the whole Xingkai Lake. The reserve joined the North East Asian Crane Site Network in 1997. Four ecotourism resorts drew 500,000 visitors from China and abroad in 2000. Ramsar site no. 1155. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Xianghai. 31/03/92; Jilin; 105,467 ha; 44º02'N 122º41'E. Nature Reserve; Crane Network Site. A system of freshwater marshes, lakes, wet grassland and a linked series of irrigation canals, fed by three major rivers. The site includes sand dunes, plantations, cultivated land and reservoirs subject to spring flooding. At least 30 species of mammals are found here and the area is important for breeding, wintering and staging waterbirds. 15,000 permanent inhabitants cultivate various crops, raise livestock and, in winter, cut reeds for the paper industry. Ramsar site no. 548. Most recent RIS information: 1997.
Yancheng National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Jiangsu; 453,000 ha; 33°31'N 120°22'E. National Nature Reserve. Comprises the largest coastal wetland in China, expansive mudflats along over 120 kilometres of coastline which supports high biodiversity. About 3 million individuals of 200 bird species are said to migrate through the site annually, and many, particularly Anatidae, winter there. The site provides one of the two largest habitats in China for the Pere David's or Water deer (Elaphurus davidianus), known as "Milu", and is said to support about 10% of the world population of Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor). The core areas are uninhabited and in natural condition, whereas the buffer and experimental zones include rice fields, fish and shrimp ponds, with about one million people living in and near the site. The site is owned by Yancheng City: the Reserve management has managerial rights over the core area, whilst local governments have managerial rights over the buffer zones, within agreed parameters. Ramsar site no. 1156. Most recent RIS information: 2001.
Zhaling Lake. 07/12/04; Qinghai; 64,920 ha; 34º54’43’’N 097º16’29’’E. Nature Reserve. A unique plateau freshwater wetland at high altitude (4,273m asl) with marsh meadow and alpine vegetations, with the second largest lake in the sources of the Yellow River. As the lake is nutrient-poor and cold, only adaptive fish forms such as Gymnocypris eckloni, Platypharodon extremus, Chuanchia labiosa, and Gymnodiptychus pachycheiluare developed, which gives the site a high level of fish endemism. The site is home to the endangered Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis, and Wild Yak Bos mutus. The swamp area is a breeding and roosting habitat of other common waterbirds such as the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna Ferruginea and the Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus. The culture and customs of the local Tibetan people help to protect this wetland ecosystem, as Tibetans have a custom of not eating fish, considering it a symbol of God, while considering the birds as a symbol of good luck. Following a sharp decline of natural fish stock due to over-harvesting in the late 1980s, the exhausted stock was replenished through adoption of a local conservation plan that prevented over-fishing. Currently, glacier retreat and the rise of snowline caused by climate change are reducing water supply to the wetland. Ramsar site no. 1442. Most recent RIS information: 2012.
Zhalong. 31/03/92; Heilongjiang; 210,000 ha; 47º12’N 124º12’E. Nature Reserve. A system of permanent and seasonally flooded freshwater marshes, shallow lakes and ponds, with extensive reedbeds and grasslands. An important area for breeding, wintering, and staging migratory birds, supporting a flora of more than 500 species, 42 species of fish, and numerous amphibians. Reed harvesting provides a major source of income. Ramsar site no. 549. Most recent RIS information: 1997.Most recent RIS information: 1997.
Zhanjiang Mangrove National Nature Reserve. 11/01/02; Guangdong; 20,279 ha; 20°54'N 110°08'E. National Nature Reserve. The largest mangrove forest wetland reserve in China, located along coastal areas of the Leizhou Peninsula at the southernmost tip of China between the South China Sea and the Tonkin Gulf, adjacent to Hainan Island. Some 24 species of mangrove are said to be present, and at low tide large areas of exposed mudflats provide excellent support for migrating waterbirds. Like other mangrove forests, the somewhat separate components of the site provide sanctuary for offshore fish, sustenance for birds and other fauna, and coastal protection from waves, tides, and storm surges. The coastal and inshore area supports economic fishing and aquaculture for local people. Agricultural and urban development and fishfarming have destroyed much of the former mangrove areas, but a comprehensive management and afforestation programme for the Reserve, supported by The Netherlands, holds promise for arresting these impacts. Ocean pollution of oil and heavy metal has been taking a toll. Ramsar site no. 1157. Most recent RIS information: 2001.