China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Saltwater lakes and coastal wetlands

Coastal wetlands Around half of lakes of the country are saline and represents significant breeding grounds for waterfowl. The majority salt lakes are situated in northwestern China on the inland drainage systems of the North Tibetan Plain and in the Zaidan basin. The biggest is Qinghai Lake, a natural reserve that supports thousands of birds such as cormorants, pied avocets, bar-headed geese and black-headed gulls.

The Tarim River basin at Xinjiang is the habitat of the black stork. The Ordos plateau area at Inner Mongolia and the Taolimiao-Alashan Nur Lake at Xinjiang support breeding sites for the endangered relict gull.

Almost all salt lakes and their marshes are in danger by increased diversion of water for agricultural and household uses.

China has a coastline of roughly 18,000 km, which extends from the Bohai Gulf (freezes during winter), to the tropical waters of the South China Sea. The Chinese coastal marshlands serve as fuel stops for waterfowl on the migratory road between Siberia and Australia. Chongming Island, set at the Yangzi River Delta and close to Shanghai, is one of these vital wetlands for migrant species.

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