©Wikimedia Commons/Tuner tom
Yancheng Biosphere Reserve, China

The Yancheng biosphere reserve is located on the Sub-Huang Huai plain of northern China, specifically in the Palearctic biogeographical region. The reserve consists of a coastal marsh wetland that extends up to 582 kilometres, and includes a variety of salt marshes. Tidal salt marshes account for over 80% of the reserve’s area and contain the most salt-resistant flora species. In addition, two major rivers traverse the region: the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

Designation date: 1993
Administrative authorities: Yancheng National Nature Reserve Administrative; Government of Yancheng; Jiangsu Environmental Protection Bureau.
Surface area (terrestrial): 469,000.00 ha
Core area(s): 23,400.00 ha
Buffer area(s): 46,700.00 ha
Transition area(s): 398,900.00 ha

Latitude: 32°34'N – 34°28”N
Longitude: 119°48'E – 120°56”E
Centre point: 33º 16' 48"N – 120º 8' 24”E

Ecological Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/KongFu Wang
Yancheng Biosphere Reserve, China

The combination of monsoon rains, the temperate climate in the north and the subtropical climate in the south provides ideal natural conditions for the growth of unique flora in the reserve. Examples of common flora species include Aeluropus littoralis, Imperata cylindrical (Blady grass), and Phragmites communis (Common reed).

Nineteen amphibian, 23 reptile and 381 bird species have been recorded in Yancheng biosphere reserve. Furthermore, fourteen species have been categorized as protected wildlife, including Grus japonensis (Red-crowned crane), Ichthyaetus relictus (Relict gull) and Psephurus gladius (Chinese paddle fish). Moreover, numerous estuaries in the reserve serve as breeding grounds and habitats for cetaceans and fish.

Socio-Economic Characteristics

Approximately 1,400,000 residents live permanently in the biosphere reserve. Yancheng encompasses 41 villages and 25 farms that harvest agricultural products. Aside from agriculture, livestock, the salt industry, forestry and fishery are the main sources of economic income. In addition, the local population use Phalaris arundinacea (Reed grass) and Elymus repens (Couch grass) to produce paper and working materials. Around 50,000 national and 200 foreign tourists visit the reserve annually and undertake activities such as birdwatching, marshland tours, tide watching and hiking. The local authorities also promote ecotourism and support sustainable economic activities with a view to stopping the pollution by large-scale industries of the rivers and the ocean.

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                                                                                   Last update: January 2015

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