Introduction to the Wetland Protection of Mingcui Lake National Wetland Park


¡¡¡°Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peat-land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or Reed mazetemporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters. In the same way wetlands may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six meters at low tide lying within the wetlands.¡± Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems in the world. It is said that ¡°wetland is the kidney of the earth¡± which performed the hydrological and chemical circulating functions. Wetland is the "biological supermarket¡± because which contains abundant food and also supports the biological diversity. No wetlands, no water, while water operates adverse effects on wetlands. As the rapid development of industrial society and the dramatic growth of population, the area of wetland has declined sharply and the wetland¡¯s protection and restoration project is greatly in need.

¡¡Mingcui Lake National Wetland Park is a historical relic at the west edge of the Ordos plateau and the east of the moved ancient paths of Yellow River. It used to be the hinterland of Chang Lake in Ming dynasty. Mingcui Lake is located at Xingqing district, Zhangzheng town in the east of Yinchuan of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which covers a total area of 6.67 square kilometers, including 8,000 acres of wetland (Lake 4,200 acres), 2,000 acres of forest and other lands. From 1999 to 2001, this scenic spot has been listed as the key project of ecological protection area by Yingchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, National Development and Reform Commission, and State Forestry Bureau. In 2005, the government has listed it as the wetland park of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which is the third wetland park named as national wetland park by State Forestry Bureau after the wetland parks of Qinhu in Jiangsu province and Xixi in Hangzhou and is the first national wetland park in the upper reaches of the Yellow River and western region of China. It enjoys a reputation as "one of six China's most beautiful Wetland Park".

¡¡Mingcui LakeLotus flowers in the sunshine can be divided into south and north lakes which has a complete ecosystem. The area owns abundant water, fertile soil as the lakes region, around rivers, lakes, swamps, irrigation channels and paddy fields are all connected together. As a typical wetland ecosystem, the Mingcui Lake owns an ecological supporting system by swamps, lakes and reeds that forms a suitable place for bird's reproduction, habitat and development. Various kinds of water birds are attracted by the reeds in the east side of lake to live and rear baby birds in there. The around lake swamps own widely distributed reeds, cattall pollen, and cattail, etc., where abundant fish and shrimps become water bird's golden feeding area. The islands in lake, reeds and docks are good habitat for birds at night and the continuous marshes are a good place for feeding birds, which makes a natural, appropriate, harmonious, and ideal place for birds to live and stop over and provides a unique natural resources for establishing birds¡¯ research and appreciation base in Yinchuan and the western of China. Mingcui Lake wetlands preserve the intact original natural environment due to the unique geographical location and unique environment, human impacts and damages are rare, where possesses a large number of birds, aquatic animals and plants, wetlands animals, desert plants and other biological resources.

¡¡Mingcui Lake owns rich birds¡¯ resources. It has 97 species mainly consisted by the birds of summer migrants, residents and travelers, including 44 species of summer migrants makes up 45.4% of the total, 15 species of resident makes up 36.1% of the total, 35 species of travelers makes up 36.1% of the total, and three species of winter birds makes up 3% of the total. Due to the special geographical conditions, the park has a solid environmental bearing capacity which is an ideal place for birds¡¯ breeding and habitat. Through expert¡¯s on-the-spot investigation, Mingcui Lake has 129 kinds of vertebrate species belonging to 46 families, 24 orders and 5 classes, which includes 97 species of birds belonging to 29 families and 14 orders, 109 species of vascular plants belonging to 82 genera,100 bird Tsui 40 families and 3 phylum, 69 species of aquatic phytoplankton belonging to 30 families, 7 phylum, 29 species of aquatic plankton, 29 species of large aquatic invertebrates. It forms a more complete biological diversity synthesis and shapes a unique ecological environment of desertification Wetlands in China. There are four kinds of the first state-level protected animals, Black Stork, Chinese Merganser, White-tailed Sea Eagle and Great Bustard, fourteen kinds of the second state-level protected animals, Horned Grebe, Spot-billed Pelican, Eurasian Spoonbill, Whooper Swan, Little Swan, Mandarin Duck, Blake Kite, Black Tern, Red-footed Falcon, Common Kestrel, Grebe, Demoiselle Crane, Little Owl and Long-eared Owl. At present, four kinds of birds Chestnut Bittern, Curlew Sandpiper, White-winged Tern, and Paddy-field Warbler are recorded as new species birds in Ningxia. Due to the protection and restoration of wetland project implemented by government, the natural wetland resources have been soundly protected.

¡¡The government leaders of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Yingchuan City have paid highly attention to Mingcui Lake Wetland Protection Project, which has been listed as the key project of ecological protection areas by Yingchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, National Development and Reform Commission and State Forestry Bureau. After more than four years¡¯ enclosure management by banning trapping, hunting and grazing, the influence and damage to the lake ecological environment by humans have been effective controlled and reduced. The project Back Farming to Lake plans to reform 3600 acres farmland to lake, now has completed a lake area 2200 acres and finished lake dredging more than 50.7 million cubic meters, which effectively protected the natural ecological environment of birds and aquatic plants in Mingcui Lake. Furthermore, 1,000 acres reeds maze and 500 acres lotus have been completed, and tree planting area covers 750 acres. Before the restoration and protection project , the north lake covers 1380 acres, has lotus ponds 128 acres including aquatic plants 80 acres, till now, the north lake expands to 4138 acres including the expansion of lake 3428 acres, that is to say the lake has expanded 2048 acres than before. Currently the South Lake covers 4,082 acres which consisted by lake, shallow, and marsh. The total area of lotus planting covers 500 acres in south and north lakes.

In recent years, Mingcui Lake Wetland Park has always insisted on the development ideas of:
1. By returning farmland to lake, restoring the original style and the former wetland areas, Ming Green Lake provides an ideal living environment for bird, aquatic animals and plants and keeps the natural ecological balance.
2. The influence and damage to the lake ecological environment by humans have been effective controlled and reduced by enclosure management, banning trapping, hunting and grazing.
3. By improving and beautifying the ecological environment, Mingcui Lake has formed its own tourism features and selling points. The north side is the recreation area and south side is the ecological area. Recreation area is a relatively quiet place. Visitors only allowed driving into there by the pleasure watching cruise ships which use the pollution-free battery as engine and the whole process is under the supervision of the park control organization. The south ecological area is an absolutely prohibited place to enter and in its center sets the Bird Island which provides a quiet area and purely natural conditions for birds¡¯ habitat and reproduction.

¡¡In 2004, Aerial Ming Green LakeMingcui Lake has established a wetland protection management station and a wetland ecological monitoring station, and set up a 1,200 m2 science education base which equipped the publicity education facilities and full-time staff to carry out the scientific education campaign to the bublic. In recent years, Mingcui Lake Wetland Park has annually held ¡°Love the Birds Week¡±, ¡°Double Seven Appreciating Lotus Festival¡±, ¡°Mingcui Lake Water Recreational Sports Games¡± and ¡°Photography Contest, Fishing Contest¡± and other promotional and educational campaigns under the theme of ecological and environmental protection and used websites, media and other multiple channels to publicize and illustrate the influences eco-systems have impacted on environment, introduced the present situation of wetland's biological diversity, and taught students to protect the environment started from every little thing in the side. Through these activities, primary and secondary students have formed the concept about ecological and environmental conservation and birds¡¯ protection, which helped Mingcui Lake, won a good reputation in the society. In 2007, Mingcui Lake was entitled as popular science education base of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region by the Science and Techonology Association of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Science and Technology Department of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Propaganda Department of Party Committee of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region by which fully affirmed the working fruits of wetland protection in Ming Green Lake.

¡¡In project construction or in management, Mingcui Lake has all along unaltered the duty of strictly protecting the ecological environment, carefully selecting the non-polluting materials and energy resources and establishing a complete set of ecological protection measures, for example: using solar energy for heating instead of coal-fired boilers; using boats with battery instead of motorized boats; do not dispose the waste in the park instead sent to landfill; do not burn waste lands in order to reduce air pollution; at the birds' incubation period, designating the banning swim zones etc. All along, Mingcui Lake Wetland Park has always put the protection and monitoring of birds in to the first place at work. In the field of monitoring, the research is primarily focused on the number of monitoring the species and quantity of birds. In recent years the lake has showed an obvious birds' growth and a relatively high baby birds¡¯ survival rate. Through several years' publicity and teaching, the park staffs have also gradually deepened the understanding of protecting birds. There are numerous examples of aiding baby birds and injured birds, a close and friendly relationship between birds and human are gradually established. As a state-level monitoring station, Mingcui Lake Wetland Protection Management Centre has persistently put the prevention and control of birds flu as an important daily workBoat cruise. According to the circumstances, the center director seriously implements the daily monitoring report system, arranges specific staff to conduct the inspections, and monitors the route. All the staffs follow ¡°three firsts¡± at work: i.e. the first time found, the first time report, and the first time control, irregularly takes disinfection measures to the main sections of the lake, at the same time, publicize the basic bird flu prevention tips to staff and visitors so as to have a multi-directional and multi-angle prevention and control measures.

¡¡Through these efforts, Mingcui Lake National Wetland Park has a complete wetland ecological system and a set of perfect leisure service facilities for tourism and shapes a harmonious ecological environment. In the scenic spot, everywhere eye can see are green, clear water, quiet reeds' islands and the song of birds, which forms a beautiful harmonious coexistence picture of man and nature. Now it becomes a shining pearl in the east of Yinchuan and sets a classic model of "the Frontier Lake City¡± in Yinchuan.

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ADD:east of ZHANGZHENG town YINCHUAN CHINA Zip Code:750004