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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.