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Nature Reserve

Yancheng National Natural Reserve for Coastal Rare Birds

Yancheng National Natural Reserve for Coastal Rare Birds with an area of 453,000 hectares is located at the coastal region of Sheyang, Dafeng, Binhai, Xiangshui and Dongtai Counties, Jiangsu Province. Established as a provincial reserve in 1984, the Reserve was classified as a national nature reserve in 1992, and included in the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Network of UNESCO in the same year. The Reserve joined the Reserve Network of Northeast Asian Cranes in 1996. Wetland ecosystems and rare birds such as red-crowned crane are the protection targets in the Reserve. 


The Reserve is in the face of the Yellow Sea and formed of silt of the old Yellow River delta and the Yangtze River delta under the impact of waves and tide. It is the typical representative of the silt plain of the coast with a coastal line of 444 kilometers. There are many rivers, marches and wetlands here. The Reserve is increased by over 900 hectares every year for the Yellow River and the Yangtze River flow from here into the East Sea. Thanks to its temperate climate, plenty of rain and level terrain, the Reserve is rich in biological resources.

Recent statistics show that the Reserve has 450 species of plants, 377 species of birds, 45 species of amphibians and reptiles, 281 species of fish and 47 species of mammals. 11 species of them are listed as national Grade-A protected animals including red-crowned crane, white crane, great bustard, golden eagles and Chinese paddle-fish. 67 species of them such as river deer and swan are under the second-grade state protection.

The Reserve is important as a stopover for migratory birds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and a key place for water birds to live through the winter in the world as a whole. In the summer and autumn, nearly 2,000,000 birds fly through Yancheng while 200,000 water birds live through winter in the Reserve.

In order to prevent the ecosystem from degeneration, projects in transforming ecosystem have been carried out in 10,000-mu (15 mu=1 hectare) reed wetland and 3,000-mu waterfowl lake. The completion of those projects may help aquatic animals and birds to live and breed. The establishment of the Yancheng National Nature Reserve is significant to the protection and study of migrant rare birds such as red-crowned crane. It has become an ideal habitat for rare birds.

Xilinguole National Natural Reserve

Xilinguole National Nature Reserve lies in the boundaries of Xilinguole City, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Covering a total area of 10,786 square kilometers, Xilinguole National Nature Reserve was established in 1985, the first grassland nature reserve in China, and joined the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Network in 1987. As a matter of fact, with its typicality, Xilinguole Grassland attracted great attention from botanists at home and abroad as early as 1930s.     


It is obviously mid-temperate continental; it is windy, dry and frigid. The glacier period can last 5 months and its frigid period lasts 7 months, and therefore, it is the coldest zone in North China. The annual temperature averages 0-4. In January, the coldest month in the Reserve, the temperature averages 20below zero. In July, the hottest month here, the temperature averages 21. The absolute highest temperature is 39.9while the absolute lowest temperature is 42.4. Its annual sunshine amounts to 2,100-3,200 hours with a sunshine rate of 64-73%. On an average, there are 90-130 frost-free days. The annual average precipitation is 140-400 millimeters with a decrease from the southeast to northwest. It mainly rains in July, August and September. The average snowfall amounts to 8-15 millimeters during the period from November to next March.

Physical Features      


The Reserve has unique ecosystems, which represents basic characteristics of grassland bio-communities and reflects structure and eco-processes of grassland ecosystem on Inner Mongolia Plateau. It slopes from the south to the north and there are more hills in southeast with crisscrossed basins. Xilinguole Grassland is the extending section from the west ofthe Greater Hinggan Mountainsand east of Yinshan Mountains. In the northwest it is smooth terrain with hills dotted here and there. The Reserve is 800-1,800 meters above sea level and its highest peak, Gurugesula Peak, has an elevation of 1,957 meters.



Xilinguole Grassland is the typical temperate grassland. The marshland, grassland, sand dune savana and wetland in valleys are its main targets for protection. The Reserve is abundant in wildlife resources. There are 625 species of higher plants from 74 families and 291 genera. Spruce, white birth and willows are found here. There are  a number of medicinal plants and economic plants such as Chinese thorowax, Scutellaria baicalensis, and polygala tenuifolia. Up to now, research in the Reserve has identified 658 species of floral plants including yellow day lilies and red morningstar lilies. They are presenting a colorful and splendid picture on the grassland.


Wildlife in the Reserve reflects the feature of fauna of Mongolian Plateau including 33 mammal species such as Mongolian gazelle, wolf and fox, etc., and 76 species of bird including swans and larks and various insects as well. In addition, there are many lakes of differen