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Xingkai Lake is a border lake between China and Russia, covering a wetland area of 2,225 square kilometers, which is connected with the wetland in Russia to constitute one of the largest wetlands in the world. Wildlife resources are abundant in the wetland. There are 285 species of internationally important migratory birds, 9 species of first-class protected birds at the national level, 41 species of second-class protected birds, and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, geese, ducks and gulls that breed here each year. In the peak time in spring, there are over 170,000 migratory birds passing here in a single day.

“The wetlands in Xingkai Lake area were greatly reclaimed and the grass was burnt between 1995 and 2000. The number of migrating birds dropped from 2.5 million to 1.2 million, nearly half of them.” says Feng Shangzhu, still having a lingering fear, “We went to everywhere to persuade people that we can not lose any more birds and we must let them live on.”

Later, with the support of the State Forestry Administration and the Forestry Department of Heilongjiang Province, the management bureau stopped over the reclamation of 20,000 ha of wetlands, which kept the two most important core areas of Northeast Bubble and the Dragon King Temple, now the main habitat and migration channel for birds.

In recent years, the management bureau of Xingkai Lake National Nature Reserve of Heilongjiang Province has done a great deal of work in strengthening the protection of wetlands and birds, and conducting education on caring for the birds. The museum is used as the education base to receive about more than 300,000 visitors; mobile publicity car is regularly employed to enter villages, households, schools for legal publicity; Wetland Day, Love Birds Festival and other days are selected for carrying out publicity and education.

In addition, the region has also established a Birdbanding system for birds in Xingkai Lake. The number of the banded birds has reached 20,117, and Heilongjiang has become the largest waterfowl banding base. While the environment is improved, the effect of bird’s attraction is also prominent. Wild populations of Oriental White Stork has been increased to more than 100, which makes the Xingkai Lake become China's largest wild breeding habitat for Oriental White Stork. (forestry.gov.cn - people. cn)

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Flocks of migratory birds playing on Xingkai Lake ice surface

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Staff carrying out scientific research in Xingkai Lake

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Feeding young birds

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