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Establishment of a New Migration Monitoring Network across China for the Siberian Crane and Other Waterbirds
Technical Brief 2.09 MB PDF

Poyang Lake Ecology Study
Fact Sheet 781 KB PDF

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Xianghai National Nature Reserve

Geographic Location

The site is located between 44° 55’ - 45° 09’ N and 122° 05’ - 122° 31' E in Jilin Province. The Reserve lies between 156-192 m in altitude, 67 km northwest of Tongyu County, and 310 km west of Changchun City.


The average precipitation is 400mm/year; the average evaporation capacity is 1945mm/year. There are three main water systems within the site, which connect with each other providing water for fishing, grazing, irrigation, and domestic use.

The area is composed of freshwater lakes and marshes, small freshwater ponds, saline marshes, artificial lakes and seasonal flooded meadows, and grassland. It supports more than 600 wild plants, of which more are 200 are medicinal species, and 353 wild animals. Of the fauna present are 10 bird species included in the China National Importance Species List I and 42 bird species of National Importance Species List II. The total area of the site is 105,467 ha.

The site regularly supports over 20,000 waterbirds. It is one of the most important breeding sites for such rare and endangered birds as Red-crowned, White-naped, and Demoiselle Cranes, the Oriental White Stork, and Great Bustard. In addition, it remains one of the most important stopover sites for Siberian, Hooded, and Eurasian Cranes.

Currently the wetland is used for seasonal tourism, mostly bird watching. Tourists can visit the reserve’s Museum of Specimen Collection and see captive cranes as well as view wild birds. Nests of some rare birds and natural forest of Mongolian elm (Ulmus macrocarpa var. mongolica) located close to the headquarters attract even more visitors.

Conservation Status

Xianghai is designated a National Nature Reserve, the highest level of national protection within China.

The Xianghai Reservoir was established in 1971, with a retaining water volume of 13,000,000m3. Due to many consecutive years of drought, the Huolin river water level is very low and flow-break is a common phenomenon. Approximately 12,000ha in the core area of the reserve is cultivated; there are six villages and over 20 stations for reed collection. The most common farming practice is extensive cultivation so over-grazing and tilling of virgin land represents another threat.

SCWP Objectives

The project will increase the management capacity of the reserve by increasing the number of protection stations from four to six, increasing staff patrols, and training staff. A site management plan will be developed, with input from local stakeholders through a site management committee. The management of water resources is also a critical issue, and a water co-management plan will be developed together with Keerqin Reserve. The project will utilize integrated pest management controls with portions of the elm forest to prevent pest infestation. The project will work to implement a provincial program to combat desertification and salinization of important areas within the reserve. The project will also work to improve cooperation with local communities and to increase local incomes through sustainable livelihood activities, such as ecotourism.


July 2005

38,000 square metre crane breeding center opens to public.

News archive...



Dry resevoir in Xianghai NNR

Farmer pumping groundwater for irrigation at Xianghai NNR

Oriental White stork

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Last update: March 23, 2005.

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