Sight of Dancing Cranes in Xianghai


Xianghai National Nature Reserve, a national 4A-class scenic spot, is located in Tongyu County, Baicheng City, or in the middle of Horqin Grassland. With a total area of 105,467 hectares, the reserve runs 45 km from south to north while from east to west the widest part extends a length of 42 km. Bordering Horqin Right Middle Banner of Inner Mongolia in the West and Taonan City in the north, it is characterized by a typical grassland landform. Huolin River in the south runs through from east to west, Emutai River in the middle flows into the wetland, and water from Taoer River in the north is channeled into the reservoir. Xianghai National Nature Reserve stretches across five township-level administrative districts, twelve villages and thirty-two natural hamlets in Tongyu County. On this land, 20,000 people are engaged in farming, forestation, herding, fishing and comprehensive third industries. The area is rich in natural resources, including 20 plus kinds of trees and 200 plus kinds of herbs, 22 large-scale and hundreds of small-scale natural swamps produced by the three major rivers (Huolin River, Ermutai River and Taoer River), over 20 kinds of fish and 173 bird species falling into 16 orders, 40 families and 98 genera. Xianghai has 6 of the 15 species of cranes in the world, accounting for 40% of the total existing population. The rare birds include red crowned crane, white-napped crane, hooded crane, common crane, white crane, swan, golden eagle, etc.. So it earns the reputation of “the land of cranes”.

In 1992, in the wake of China’s accession to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat,Xianghai National Nature Reserve was admitted in the list of wetlands of international importance. In the same year, it was rated as a class-A nature reserve with international significance by WWF. In 1993, approved by the Chinese commission, it was included in the Man and Biosphere Network. On July 30, 2005, the State Post Office issued a set of four special stamps for Xianghai Nature Reserve.


In 2009, the sight of dancing cranes was rated as one of the top eight attractions of Jilin Province, gaining the reputation of " Eastern Changbai, Western Xianghai ". That means comparable to Changbai Mountain, Xianghai Nature Reseorve is also a significant representative of Jilin Province.