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Bird Watching in Hunan Province

Hunan Province,situated in the middle reaches of Yangtze River, is dominated by low mountains and hills in topography. The fertile land and well developed water system formed by Xiangjiang River, Zijiang River, Yuan River and Lishui River in Hunan has made this province known as Land of Rice and Fish.

Birding Sites in Hunan

Hunan Province has a subtropical humid monsoon climate with obvious features of continental climate and marine climate.The province has the second largest freshwater lake in China, Dongting Lake and the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest consisting of 248 families, over 5000 species including precious plants such as the silver fir, metasequoia, waterpine, ginkgo and dove trees. They serve as ideal habitats for water birds and forest birds. Up to now, the bird resources in Hunan comprise 19 orders and 71 families, occupying 448 species and 33.63% of national total bird species. Among them, there are 64 bird species under national key protection. In 2007, Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) was chosen as the bird of Hunan Province.

Dongting Lake

Dongting Lake is the third largest lake in China made up of East, South and West Dongting Lake. Dongting Lake Wetlands Reserve was established in 1982 and upgraded to national level reserve in 1994. It was accepted in the list of Ramsar sites in 2002. According to the survey in 2007, 297 species of birds were recorded in East Dongting Lake, 164 species of birds were recorded in South Dongting Lake and 217 species of birds were recorded in West Dongting Lake. Bird-watching Festival is held in Dongting Lake each year.

Huayanxi National Forest Park is also known as a national outdoor camp for the youth.In the north of the park is Wuxi Lake and in the South is Longfeng Lake. From March to September every year, thousands of egrets come to this place, presenting a fascinating sight.

Xidongting Wetland ParkHuayanxi National Forest ParkXidongting Lake
    West Dongting Lake    Huayanxi Forest Park       Dongting Lake

Wulingyuan Scenic Area

Wulingyuan was enlisted as world heritage site in 1992 by UNESCO.Lying in Zhangjiajie of Hunan Province, Wulingyuan Scenic Area consists of 5 nature reserves: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve, Zhangjiajie Giant Salamander Reserve, Tianzishan Nature Reserve and Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. In 1999, this region has recorded 31 species of summer breeders and 58 resident birds. Endangered bird species in this region are Elliot’s Pheasant(Syrmaticus ellioti) and Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher (Rhinomyias brunneata).

Huping Mountain

Huping Mountain is located in northwwest of Shimen County.It was granted the National Reserve in 1994. In 1996, the reserve recorded 143 bird species. Among them there are 49 species of summer breeders, 14 species of winter birds and 80 species of residents. Endangered bird species in this reserve are Reeve’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii), Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher(Rhinomyias brunneata), Silver Oriole(Oriolus mellianus).

Jiangkou Niaozhou Nature Reserve

Jiangkou Niaozhou Nature Reserve, which is 41 kilometers from Hengyang City, is the smallest protected area with the richest bird resources. There are 181 bird species here, including Siberian Crane(Grus leucogeranus), Mandarin Duck(Aix galericulata). Endangered bird species in this area include Oriental Stork(Cicnia boyciana), Swan Goose(Anser cygnoides), Baikal Teal(Anas formosa).

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