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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Jin Taijian, Cui Hancheng
  General Description   Xilin Gol Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, about 600 km north of Beijing. It was established as China’s first grassland biosphere reserve in 1987 to protect the biodiversity of a typical steppe ecosystem and to develop models of sustainable grassland resource use for improved well-being of the local people. The area is extensively grazed by wild herbivores and domestic livestock managed mainly by sedentary herders.
Before 1950, the area was used by nomadic Mongols as pasture land. After the establishment of four state-run livestock farms for breeding fine-wool sheep, 13% of the inhabitants of the biosphere reserve (in total 125,850 people in 1999) live on these farms whereas 87% in the town of Xilinhot. The population of this city has rapidly expanded with increased investments in mining and oil industry. People are mainly ethnic Han, but there are also about 28% Mongols in the biosphere reserve.
Several development projects have been set up to meet the multiple objectives of the biosphere reserve. For example, a demonstration farm, raising traditional animals of the grassland such as horses, sheep and goats, has been established to present alternative practices and means of animal husbandry to local herders.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Steppe with Aneurolepidium chinense, Stipa grandis, S. krylovii, Filifolium sibiricum and Cleistogenes squarrosa; meadow steppe; forest of Populus davidiana and Betula platyphylla; Picea meyeri forest; Ulmus pumila woodland; freshwater wetland meadows and marshes; livestock farms; residential areas.
  Location   43°26' to 44°39'N; 115°32' to 117°12'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,077,450
  Core area(s)   1,850
  Buffer zone(s)   5,600
  Transition area(s) when given   1,070,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +950 to +1,506
  Year designated   1987
  Administrative authorities   State Environmental Protection Administration of China Environmental Protection Agency of Mongolia Administrative Government Office of Xilin Gol League Reserve Management Bureau
  Brief description   Monitoring of atmosphere, river system and soil
Sustainable animal husbandry
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Acidic deposition/Acid rain, monitoring/methodologies, soil.
  Biodiversity   Vegetation studies/Plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Livestock and related impacts/Overgrazing.
  Integrated monitoring   Mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address    
Xilingol Nature Reserve Administration

026000 Xilinhaote City - Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
  Telephone   (86.479) 822 3465
  Fax   (86.479) 822 3465

Last updated: 12/12/2007

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