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Nature conservation: econet and protected areas
Khanka Lake-Xinkaihu
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The Khanka Lake/Xinkaihu is situated on the border between Primorskii Province of Russia and Heilongjiang Province of China.

It belongs to Amur Wetlands Global 200 ecoregion.  Siufen-Khanka forest meadow ecoregion

That is unique ancient lake with relict flora and fauna launched as the wetlands of international importance. It has a high level of biodiversity including 523 algae species and 616 species of vascular plants (49 species listed in Red Data Book of Russia). The vertebrate fauna includes 454 species, including 333 birds with 44 rare and endangered species such as Red-crowned crane, White-naped crane and Oriental white stork. It is the important stopover for migratory birds on North East Asia flyway (up to 4 millions of migrants). The freshwater ecosystems has one of the highest in North Asia biodiversity (69 species of fish, including 2 listed in Red Data Book of Russia. It is the main  breeding habitat for Chinese soft-shell turtle.


About 80% of wetlands around Khanka Lake are converted to rice paddies and grain fields. The pesticides heavy polluted the water. On both side the last patches of wetlands are threatened with a fast future development. The human-made fires lead to degradation of ecosystems and de-forestration of area. The over-harvest of fish leads to extirpation of valuable species. The established in 1996 Russian-China Khankaiskii/Xinkaihu transboundary nature reserve has inadequate support and little collaborative activities.

Proposed actions

Develop the Econet as the system of nature protected areas connected by the buffer zone and ecological corridors:

  • enlarge the territory of Khankaiskii nature reserve in Russia along the Sungacha River;
  • improve the environmental regime in buffer zone of Khankaiskii nature reserve on army testing range;
  • improve the protection regime of Xinkaihu nature reserve on China side, expand core zone to Songacha;
  • provide the infrastructure support for Russian-China Khankaiskii/Xinkaihu transboundary nature reserve;
  • secure the forested areas as corridors between Khanka lake and surrounding mountains;
  • establish the protected zones on turtle breeding beaches and fish spawning sites.

Improve the collaboration within Russian-China Khankaiskii/Xinkaihu transboundary nature reserve and extend it to other wetland reserves of Siufen-Khanka forest meadow ecoregion:

  • elaborate the Trans-boundary Management Plan;
  • conduct the International Conference to adopt these TMP;
  • harmonize daily economic activity of local communities with the TMP;
  • elaborate and implement the program of artificial nesting of Oriental Stork;
  • support the fire-fighting brigades;
  • support the anti-poaching brigades and environmental structure to protect fish and game resources;
  • involve the boundary guards to control on poaching along the border;
  • improve the CITEC control at custom-houses.
  • Joint training for nature reserve staff of wetland nature reserves of the ecoregion: Russia-China Khankaiskii/Xinkaihu, Zhenbaodao, Dongfanghong, etc.

 Increase the public awareness and local community involvement in making decision:

  • launch transboundary festival – “Day of the Lake” in April-May.
  • small grant program to support local community and NGOs;

    Small Khanka Lake. Photo by WWF/NEFU


Upper Ussury –Lake Khanka.

Khanka Lake international nature reserve

Protected areas of Eurasia

Protected areas and human footprint

Protected areas of Amur-Heilong (all)

Major protected areas of Amur-Heilong

Vegetation map

Terrrestrial ecoregions

Global 200 Ecoregions

Freshwater ecoregions


Small Hinggan transboundary area (Manchurian forests ecoregion)

Dauria Steppe Global 200 ecoregion

Detailed hydrography of Amur River basin

Wetlands of Amur

Human footprint and ecoregions of Amur

Threats to biodiversity in Southern Russian Far East



Khanka Lake and Upper Ussury Wetlands

Protected areas in Russia

Protected areas in China

Protected areas in Mongolia

Three gorges of the dragon river

Introductory tour of Amur basin

Way to the Ocean.Okhotsk - Manchurian Taiga

Da Hinggan - Dzhagdy forest ecoregion in Russia

Stanovoi Range: taiga and tundra

Ussury forests

Small Hinggan


Daurian steppe

Song-Nen plain

Amur meadows and wetlands – Amur midflow


Lower Amur Wetlands


GIS: Ecological network

Also look:

Protected areas in Amur-Heilong River basin:

Protected areas coverage in Amur River Basin

Protected areas types in Russia, Mongolia, China

Russian protected areas

Mongolian protected areas

China nature reserves

Protected areas planning

Cooperation between nature reserves


Econet-ecological networks:

WWF Vision for Amur-Heilong Conservation

Conservation along the border

Wetland conservation

Grassland conservation and migratory wildlife

Selected Amur-Heilong protected areass and proposed fields of cooperation (Table)

Major wetland regions of the Amur-Heilong River basin ( Table )

Ecological Network for Amur: The Amur-Heilong Green Belt Concept


Model areas for transboundary conservation:

Dauria international Protected Area-DIPA

Middle Amur –Sanjiang wetlands

Khanka –Ussury wetlands and forests

Small Hinggan Mountains-Three Gorges of Dragon River

Land of the Leopard


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