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15:07 Apr 09 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Lhasa's "birds' nest" sees progress in environment
11:59, April 09, 2009  

Lhalu Wetland, China's largest and highest urban one in northern Lhasa, has been the birds' nest since it was designated as a nature reserve in the late 1990s.

Ruddy Shelducks fly over Lhalu Wetland, northern Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 1, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

The westland at an average altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level is home to many precious species such as black-necked cranes, yellow ducks, and Gypaetus barbatus.

Thousands of migratory birds can be seen disporting and foraging on the wetland, with the sound of yellow ducks and egrets heard from time to time. From the end of October each year, these migratory birds fly to this quiet water area one after another and leave next April.

Since being officially designated as a national natural reserve in 2005, Lhalu Wetland has witnessed great improvements of its environment thanks to the protection of departments concerned.

Photo taken on February 1, 2009, shows the reeds of Lhalu Wetland, northern Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua Photo)

Malpractices like fowling and fishing have been effectively brought under control. Through the measures of sand cleaning and impounding, the coverage of reeds has increased from 30 percent to 70 percent. 

According to a survey report released by Tibet University recently, by the end of 2008, 62 precious bird species had been discovered in Lhalu Wetland, including two kinds of first-class and seven kinds of second-class state-protected ones.

Following the launch of the first stage of the wetland protection project at a cost of 90 million yuan in 2002, the second-stage project with a total financing of 50 million yuan will start soon.

As a rare urban wetland on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Lhalu will play a significant role in adjusting the climate as well as in protecting plateau species of animals and plants.

Photo taken on February 1, 2009, shows Lhalu Wetland, northern Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Xinhua Photo)

Statistics show that the plants in and around Lhalu Wetland produce an estimated 54,000 tons of oxygen annually, thus making Lhalu "the lung of Lhasa".

Now, Tibet has 40 natural reserves, with nine at the national level and six at regional level. The combined area under protection covers 408,300 sq km, or 34 percent of Tibet's landmass.

Source: Xinhua

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