An ongoing festival promoting the very special and environmentally important Heilongjiang Hadong Yanjiang Wetland to tourists recently kicked off, according to the organizers.
They said visitors can take a boat out in the wetland – located in a tranquil area administered by Harbin, capital of China’s northernmost Heilongjiang province – to explore the wonderful natural scenery.
The Harbin wetland was recognized as a Wetland of International Importance – one of seven newly added wetlands in China in 2020 -- according to information released by the Harbin forestry and grassland bureau.
Bureau officials said it is configured in a long narrow strip, with an east-west length of 23.5 kilometers and a width of 5.5 km at the widest point in the north and south. The total area of the wetland is 9,973 hectares, with a wetlands coverage of 79.6 percent.
Experts say it belongs to a typical inland wetland ecosystem -- with river wetlands, swamp wetlands and swampy meadows as the main categories of wetlands.
They also say the Harbin wetland plays an important role locally in purifying water quality, conserving water sources, regulating the climate and floods, as well as maintaining a regional ecological balance.
The wetland is also located along the east Asia-Australia bird migration flight paths, being an especially important stop and breeding place for migrating water birds in Northeast Asia.
Every year during the spring and autumn migration seasons, a large number of water birds stop there. The number of migrating birds stopping over each year exceeds 20,000, including endangered and rare birds such as oriental white storks and red-crowned cranes.