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Ecological Restoration in Shishou Swan Island to Preserve the Beautiful Homeland for Elks
Updated: 2018-10-11 10:54:16

The photo of elks in water and birds in the sky shows us harmonious scenery. With the background of blue sky, white clouds, and green grasses, agroup of elks are playing in the sparking lake while birds like swans are hovering in the low air. On September 30th, reporters were touched by such harmonious and beautiful scenery at Shishou National Nature Reserves. “Thisyear, nearly 160 elks were born at the core area of the National Nature Reserves, with a total of over 1,400 in the herds and hitting the highest record in the history”, said joyfully by Wen Huajun, head of the National Nature Reserves. All this owes to the persistent wetland ecological restoration for more than 20 years.

The photo is the elk group which is playing in the water. In 1991, Hubei Provincial Government approved to set up Shishou Elk Nature Reserves at the ancient Yangtze River Waterway of Swan Island in Shishou, and it was upgraded to be the National Nature Reserves in 1998. When it was just established, the nature reserve was largely influenced by the hydrological and climate condition of Yangtze River Basin. In wet season, its water level is three or four meters lower than that of the Three Gorges Reservoir before storage. Thus, the wetland ecological system suffered a lot from this and elks’ food is out of supply, leading to a slow growth of the number of elk groups.

The photo showcases the daily inspection of workers inthe National Nature Reserves. In order to change this current condition, the National Nature Reserves took a series of measures to restore the ecosystem: to handle with 300-mu Southern Type Poplar forestry and its roots, artificially restore pasture, and plant perennial plants which elks like to eat such as astragalus smicus, bermudagrass, leonurus, and hemarthria sibirica; renovate the roads within the National Nature Reserves to adopt pelitic pavement to reduce the influence tothe nature to the maximum degree; dig the farmland and uncultivated land to build into muddy zone; and set up diversion works and improve water network system… …

The photo refers to alert. Since the muddy zone was built, the amount and variety of plants and animals within the National Nature Reserves vastly increased, which is beneficial to elks and wetland birds. Diversion works provide water resources to wetland grasses and muddy zone, and thus elksown rich food source and suitable habitat. “Elks like to have a rest in reed marshes very much. The National Nature Reserves has gradually intensified the expansion of reed. This year, there are more than 500 mu new reed”, said by Cai Jiaqi, a worker from the National Nature Reserves.

The photo shows the bull elks enjoying the sunbath leisurely. The zigzagged Jingjiang section of Yangtze River creates theromantic charm of Swan Island. Through more than 20 years’ ecological restoration, this place has become the playground of wide elks, paradise for rarebirds, and the hometown of endangered dolphins. It is introduced by Wen Huajun that, the measures that Hubei Provincial Bureau of Environment Protection and Shishou government took to add an 8,000-mu buffer zone within the National Nature Reserves has almost been completed andby the end of this year, the area of the National Nature Reserves will reach 23,000 mu. In the near future, SwanIsland will definitely appear the booming scene of “full of rhino and elks”.


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