Zhangye Heihe Wetland National Nature Reserve

Population of Cygnus cygnus wintering at the Site
Wetland landscape
Waterfowls wintering at the Site

Zhangye Heihe Wetland National Nature Reserve

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    41,164.6 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    39°29'N 99°46'E
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Zhangye Heihe Wetland National Nature Reserve is located along the Heihe River, on the plains of the historic Gansu Corridor trading route in north-western China. Surrounded by the extremely fragile environment of the temperate desert, the Reserve is the region’s largest oasis zone and plays a critical role in regulating surface runoff, storing floodwater and mitigating drought impacts, supporting regional biodiversity and maintaining ecological security. The Site includes a rich variety of landscapes such as glaciers and snowy mountains, forests and grasslands, deserts and oases, and red Danxia landforms. It is dominated by aquatic systems such as natural rivers, lakes, swamps and meadows which are important breeding and stopover grounds for a variety of globally threatened birds including Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri), saker falcon (Falco cherrug), and relict gull (Larus relictus). The Reserve is also the largest breeding habitat for black stork (Ciconia nigra) in East Asia, with a stable population of above 300 every year and the highest recorded being above 500. The Site is in an extremely arid environment with average annual precipitation of only 129 mm, and so the wetland ecosystems of the region are vulnerable to any change in climate that exacerbates the impacts of drought, high temperature and evaporation.

Administrative region: 
Zhangye City in Gansu Province

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Nature Reserve - Zhangye Heihe Wetland National Nature Reserve
  • Last publication date: 


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