Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zhalong Nature Reserve

Zhalong Nature Preserve is a in the Heilongjiang province of China. This 840 square mile marsh reserve serves as a stopover and nesting area for a large number of storks, swans, herons, grebes and other species. Lying on a migration path streching from the Arctic around the Gobi desert to South East Asia the land under this preserve is used by migrating birds between April and October.

Established in 1979, the 2100 square kilometre marshland is a major migratory route for birds from the Arctic migrating to South East Asia and is one of the few breeding grounds in the far east for the Marsh Grassbird ''Megalurus pryeri''. Its ponds and reeds make it an ideal home for over 300 different species of birds. It is protected by the Chinese government.

Wolong National Nature Reserve

Wolong National Nature Reserve is a protected area located in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China. Established in 1963, the reserve covers an area of about 200,000 hectares. There are over 4,000 different species recorded in the reserve. Wolong National Nature Reserve houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas.

In June 1980, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda was established at Wolong with the efforts of both and the Chinese government. To this date, researchers have conducted many breeding research projects on giant pandas and have successfully bred 66 panda cubs.

According to a 2001 research by Dr. Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University, the rate of destruction is higher after the reserve's creation than before its creation. Using NASA's satellite images and records of population, Liu's research team concluded that due to tourism and the increase in local population, the reserve is facing an unprecedented threat. "Tourists don't think they have an impact on panda habitat, but indirectly each visitor has some impact," Liu said. "We don't see ourselves as a destructive force, but we are."

2008 Earthquake

The region, including the Panda Research Center, has been largely devastated on 12 May 2008 by a catastrophic , though the captive giant pandas were initially reported to be safe. Initially, officials were unable to contact the reserve. However, PRC’s Foreign Ministry later said that a group of 31 British tourists visiting the Wolong panda reserve in the quake-hit area have returned safe and uninjured to the provincial capital. Nonetheless, the well-being of an even greater number of pandas in the neighbouring panda reserves remains unknown initially. Five security guards at the reserve were killed by the earthquake. Six pandas escaped after their enclosures were damaged. By May 20, two pandas at the reserve were found to be injured, while the search continued for another two adult pandas that went missing after the quake. By 28 May 2008, one panda was still missing. Sadly, nine-year-old Mao Mao, a mother of five at the breeding centre, was discovered on Monday, her body crushed by a wall in her enclosure. Panda keepers and other workers placed her remains in a small wooden crate and buried her outside the breeding centre.

Tian-e-Zhou Oxbow Nature Reserve

The Tian-e-Zhou Oxbow Nature Reserve is an area of wetland in the Yangtze basin near Shishou city.
The nature reserve was an intended sanctuary for the Baiji and is currently holding 28 Finless Porpoises.

Liancheng National Nature Reserve

Liancheng National Nature Reserve is located in Gansu Province in the Yellow River Basin. It consists of 47,930 hectares, of which 14,223.1 is core area, 13,189.4 is buffer area, and the remaining 20,517.5 is experimental area mainly targeted for the protection of the spruce ecosystem, especially ''Picea wilsonii''.

The reserve is located approximately between 36°33' and 36°48' North latitute, and between 102°36' and 102°55' East longitude.

Dafengding Nature Reserve

The Dafengding Nature Reserve is located in Meigu County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and in the Mabian Yi Autonomous County in Leshan prefecture-level city, both in Sichuan Province in the People's Republic of China.

* Elevation: 1240 - 3835 meters ; 1200-4042 meters
* Area: 159.50 sq. kilometers ; 301.46 sq. kilometers
* Established: 1978

The southernmost population of pandas live in this area. Beside the giant panda, fauna in the reserve include:
* Red panda
* Asiatic black bears
* blue sheep
* giant salamander
* golden monkey
* goral
* leopard
* clouded leopard
* macaque
* muntjac
* sambar

Changqing National Nature Reserve

Changqing Nature Reserve is located near Huayang Village in the Qinling Mountains of Shaanxi province of China.

* Location: 300 km south of Xi'an
* Area: nearly 300 km?
* Highest point: 3071 meters
* Year established: 1995
* Telephone: 86-916-822-6504

Flora and fauna

* Crested Ibis, ''Nipponia nippon''
* Giant panda, ''Ailuropoda melanoleuca''
* , ''Rhinopithecus roxellanae''
* , ''Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi''
* 31 species of threatened plants