Gansu Dunhuang Xihu Wetlands

The whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
The black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Xihu Reed Swamp
Seasonal Salicornia Europe
The migrant birds

Gansu Dunhuang Xihu Wetlands

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    192,287 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    40°14'N 93°18'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Gansu Dunhuang Xihu Wetlands are unique to the continental desert and semidesert biome and are essential for maintaining the region’s biodiversity. The Site is one of the largest inland wetlands in the arid zone of north-west China and the Central Asian Plateau, and is dominated by permanent freshwater herbaceous marshes and salt marshes. The Site features arid and hyper-arid plant species and five other habitat types: broadleaf forest, desert, salt marsh, meadow, and bog. The combination of complex topography, intermixed wetland areas and deserts, and minimal human activities help support numerous rare and threatened species including Chinese alpine steppe cat (Felis bieti) and goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa). The Site lies on the Central Asia migration route of birds such as black storks (Ciconia nigra) and Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). It also shelters Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus) and the Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus), the only remaining wild horse in the world, of which the number in the Site has reached around 4% of the global population after re-introduction measures.

Administrative region: 
Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China

  • National legal designation: 
    • National nature reserve - Gansu Dunhuang Xihu National Nature Reserve
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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