Nature Reserves

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Shuangtai Estuary Nature Reserve

China’s first nature reserve, established in 1956, was the Dinghu Mountain Nature Reserve in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province. By the end of 2007, there were 2,531 nature reserves of various kinds established throughout the country, accounting for 15% of the country’s territory, of which 303 are state-level nature reserves. Protected through these nature reserves are 88% of China’s land eco-systems, 87% of its wildlife population, 65% of its higher plant communities, nearly 20% of its natural forests, 50% of its marshlands and wetlands, the main habitats of more than 300 precious and endangered wild animal species, and major distribution areas for over 130 precious tree varieties.

Established in August 2000, the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve has the greatest concentration of bio-diversity of all of China’s nature reserves. Covering an area of 31.6 million ha and with an average elevation of 4,000 m, it is also the largest and highest nature reserve. It is located in the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, at the source of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers (hence the name of the reserve, Sanjiangyuan, which literally means sources of three rivers). State-level investment of 220 million yuan has been ploughed into the Sanjiangyuan protection project, which started in 2003.

Daoxianghu Marshland

Guangdong Province has 294 nature reserves, leading the whole country, totaling 3.44 million ha in area. Wolong and Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan, Changbaishan Mountain in Jilin, Dinghushan Mountain in Guangdong and Baishui River in Gansu are among the nature reserves that have been listed by UNESCO as “World Biosphere Reserves.”

Nature Reserves Listed by UNESCO as “World Biosphere Reserves”

World Biosphere Reserves Province (Autonomous Region) Total Area (hectares)
Baishuijiang Biosphere Reserve Gansu Province 213,750
Baotianman Biosphere Reserve Henan Province 90,950
Bogeda Biosphere Reserve Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 128,690
Changbaishan Biosphere Reserve Jilin Province 196,465
Chebaling Biosphere Reserve Guangdong Province 7,545
Dalai Lake Biosphere Reserve Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 740,000
Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve Guangdong Province 1,133
Fanjingshan Biosphere Reserve Guizhou Province 38,300
Fenglin Biosphere Reserve Heilongjiang Province 28,353
Foping Biosphere Reserve Shaanxi Province 10,326
Gaoligong Mountain Biosphere Reverse Yunnan Province 293,564
Huanglong Biosphere Reserve Sichuan Province 138,000
Jiuzhaigou Valley Biosphere Reserve Sichuan Province 106,090
Maolan Biosphere Reserve Guizhou Province 21,330
Nanji Islands Biosphere Reserve Zhejiang Province 20,629
Qomolangma Biosphere Reserve Tibet Autonomous Region 1,823,591
Saihan Wula Biosphere Reserve Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 100,506
Shankou Mangrove Biosphere Reserve Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 8,000
Shennongjia Biosphere Reserve Hubei Province 70,467
Tianmushan Biosphere Reserve Zhejiang Province 4,284
Wolong Biosphere Reserve Sichuan Province 200,000
Wudalianchi Biosphere Reserve Heilongjiang Province 106,000
Wuyishan Biosphere Reserve Fujian Province 56,527
Xilin Gol Biosphere Reserve Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 1,077,450
Xingkai Lake Biosphere Reserve Heilongjiang Province 222,488
Xishuangbanna Biosphere Reserve Yunnan Province 241,700
Yading Biosphere Reserve Sichuan Province 381,506
Yancheng Biosphere Reserve Jiangsu Province 280,000