Hangzhou Bay National Wetland Park: A Treasure Trove of Birds

By Jiao Fenghua, Wang Zhencai

Situated in the northern part of Ningbo City, the Hangzhou Bay National Wetland Park is home to a variety of birds and insects. Known as the paradise for birds, the park on the west side of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge in the Qianwan New District covers an area of 63.8 square kilometers. Boasting the most abundant resources of waterfowls in winter on the eastern coast of Chinese mainland, the park is a wetland reserve for both ecological protection and tourism, integrating wetland recovery, wetland study and environmental education.

Hangzhou Bay National Wetland Park

Construction of the Hangzhou Bay National Wetland Park was launched in 2005 with the support of Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) under the World Bank. In 2017, it passed the acceptance inspection as a national wetland park. With the aim of ecological governance, protection and education, the constructors of the park are committed to the principles of “bringing in foreign technologies while going global” in the pursuit of innovation, establishing a new model for the construction and management of offshore and coastal wetlands.

A total of 303 kinds of birds have been put on the observation records of the wetland park and its nearby areas, making the place an ideal destination for bird watching. The popularity of the park is a result of the park’s considerable investment of time and capital to create a good wetland ecology through the management of the river and the protection of local vegetation.

Known as the “kidney of the Earth”, wetlands are the cradle of biodiversity with the strongest vitality and productivity among all the ecosystems on Earth. Wetlands are breeding more than 20 percent of the species on Earth while covering only 6 percent of the land.

“We built the park with an aim to reduce marine pollution, because wetlands are capable of cleaning water,” said a manager of the park.

The ecological barriers of the park are growing stronger thanks to the great efforts of all the workers of the park. Among the more than 300 species of the birds recorded by the park, 62 are on the List of Key Protected Wild Animals in China, and 21 are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The wetland is home to more than 20,000 resident water birds, and the population of 12 species stably exceeds 1 percent of their global population sizes, making the place a popular destination for international study of bird habitat.

At present, the Hangzhou Bay National Wetland Park has evolved into a regional nature education center with more than 50,000 people participating in nature education activities every year. The park has been certified as a Nature Education School (Base) of Zhejiang Province and a Nature Education Base of Ningbo City. Its brand influence in nature education and culture is improving and its ecological benefits are mounting.

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