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Momoge National Nature Reserve - the hometown of cranes, the heaven of birds

Momoge National Nature Reserve

Momoge National Nature Reserve (mò mò gé guó jiā zì rán bǎo hù qū 莫莫格国家自然保护区), with dotted forth swamps, uninhabited island, surging river, boundless grassland, inexhaustible bait resources, and favorable temperature and humidity, covers an total area of 1440 square kilometers, which brings the caw of ducks, singing of wild geese and dancing of cranes. The preserve becomes a breeding place for birds and a transfer station of moving for water animals in the middle and west parts of Northeast China. In 1981, it was authorized to be Provincial Natural Preserve by the People's Government of Jilin Province. In 1997, it was approved as National Nature Reserve by the State Council.
 
Overview
Momoge National Nature Reserve, located in Zhenlai (zhèn lài 镇赉) County in west Jilin, was first established in 1981. In 1987 it was listed by the State Environmental Protection Administration among the first List of Famous Wetlands, and ten years later it was set as a Cranesnational nature reserve. The reserve, with a total area of 144,000 hectares in which 80% is wetland, is a typical wetland reserve. As the largest wetland reserve in Jilin Province, it earns the reputation of "the kidney of west Jilin". The surging Nen (nèn jiāng 嫩江) River and the roaring Tao'er (táo ér 洮儿) River gave birth to this miraculous area, forming four typical wetland ecological scenes, namely, river area, reed swampland and seep weed meadow. Excellent wetland conditions provide major habitat for rare water fowls in the area. Living here are 296 species of birds, belonging to 17 phyla and further to 55 classes. More than 10 species of First-class National Protected Birds survive here, such as the red-crowned crane, the white crane, the hooded crane and the bustard. More than 40 species of Second class National Protected Birds also live here, such as the white-napped crane, the demoiselle crane and the whooping swan. During each spring and autumn, the number of white cranes that stop here in migrating process amounts to 500 or more. The stopover period in one year reaches as long as 70 days, which is the longest stopover period Cranescompared to other wetlands around the world. This area is also the largest autumn roosting territory of oriental white cranes in the world, with more than 800 white cranes at the peak period. Momoge National Nature Reserve serves not merely as a scientific research area for experts in and out of China, but also as an ideal choice of place for sightseeing, spending holidays and enjoying the natural scenery.
"The bird flies freely in the vast sky." wrote one Chinese poet. In Momoge National Nature Reserve, birds fly freely and sing to their hearts' content. It is a natural park of birds, a treasure house of rare species of birds and a precious gift that Mother Nature entitles to us. Momoge National Nature Reserve has become a tourist attraction with its primitive ecological environment, its various ecological scenes and its abundant bird resource. A series of projects are included in the tour of Momoge National Nature Reserve: ecological experience, watching birds, tour on the river and tour on the plains featured by Mongolian customs. In short, this is a perfect place for you to spend your vocation and have a good time, to return and to experience nature.
  
Geography and Climate
The Nature Reserve is located in the north of Songliao (sōng liáo 松辽) Plain and in the west Momoge Wetlandedge of the Songneng (sōng nèn 松嫩) Plain. It is an alluvial plain which is formed by Nen River and its tributaries with an average elevation of 142 meters or more.
The protected area belongs to temperate zone continental monsoon climate. Its characteristics are: drought wind, hot and rainy summer, autumn dry cool, cold winter snow less. And the average temperature is 4.2 degrees Fahrenheit as well as the total amount of solar radiation is at 124.71 kcal per square meter. The average first frost about September 25, the final average frost on May 10, the annual frost-free period is 137 days.
 
Best Attractions
Juzhi (jú zhǐ 局址)Island Center Tourism Spot
The Juzhi Island Center Tourism Spot, situated at the northwest corner of the reserve, is a small green island surrounded by 300-hectare water area. On the island, the both sides of the broad streets and painted roads are lined with spruces which wave in the breeze. Different kinds of plants present an orderly and colorful picture, added by the gorgeous rainbow that Cranesspreads its wonderful light in the sun. Stand on the island and look around and you will find yourself in the center of vast areas of water: the reed wavers tenderly to the wind, like the waves of the water. Spring and autumn are the seasons for watching birds. When the time comes, whooping swan sings beautifully, their snow-white feathers and the green water are in a poetic harmony. The black-hooded galls fly and fleet quickly here and there, numerous ducks float on the water and swam around, numberless wild gooses dance around, some sang high and clearly, some bend their long necks as if pondering, some fly near the ground, and some others flitter elegantly. When the trees turn green and grasses sprout, Momoge National Nature reserve embraces spring. The water becomes crystal-clear and the reeds greener than ever. Breezes kiss the wavering poplar and willow trees, while the tall and straight pines stand firmly pointing to the sky. Breathing in the fresh air is tinted by the fragrance of wild grass and the earth, you will be struck by a feeling of coziness, you will amaze at the beauty when man and nature are harmonized. 
 
The Lotus Pond (hé huā tang 荷花塘)
The Lotus PondThe Lotus Pond is the first stop in the eco-tour of Juzhi Island. The pond is decorated by lotus flowers of different colors, each one of them showing its beauty as if competing with other flowers. At the center of the pond lies a small island connected to the bank by a bridge. On the bridge one can see the swimming fish and flying birds. On the island, giant trees serve as pavilions for tourists to cool themselves. In the pond, lotus flowers scatter here and there, each clean as if washed by the water around it. A couple of mandarin ducks float on the water surface, fluttering their wings as if greeting guests who have come from afar.
  
The Crane Park (bǎi hè yuán 百鹤园)
In the Crane Park, different kinds of cranes walk in graceful steps and dance elegant dance. As Cranesimportant protected birds, cranes are rare birds that Chinese people have loved since long ago. It has a long neck and two long legs. With a handsome body, graceful behaviors and quiet living habits, it has become the symbol of auspice, longevity, loyalty and elegance. There are six kinds of cranes: the red-crowned crane, the white crane, the white-napped crane, the common crane and the demoiselle crane. The red-crowned crane has white body feathers and black tail feathers, a tuft of red feathers on the top of its head and a green beak. Thus, it is known as the crane of the brightest colors in Momoge (mò mò gé 莫莫格). People adore the red-crowned crane deeply because of its elegant air, light step and clear songs. The common crane is also called the black crane. It is among the first to come in spring. As early as March, it has already come. In autumn, however, it appears and disappears mysteriously. Usually people can see it only in lat September, October and early November. The white-napped crane, with its red face, has a special shy air among the cranes. It comes in late March along with the red-crowned Cranescrane. While the small demoiselle crane, the "lady" among the crane family, migrates here in late March and early April. It stays beside its nest, like a loving mother, patiently waiting for the baby cranes to come out of the eggs. Also called the "crane with black sleeves", the hooded crane is the most attracting in Momoge nature reserve. Its body feathers are grey and black while its neck and head are white as snow. This kind of crane is scarcely seen in the wild and very rare in China. Its body is pure white, like a snow lotus flower. When flying it is so elegant that it looks like a dancing fairy. Hence, it earns its reputation "the lily in birds". Besides, there is the charming stork which has pure white body feathers and black wing feathers and a black beak. In Europe, the stork is seen as the symbol of auspice. Legend says that the human babies are brought by storks. It is a most endangered species and has been listed by international community in the World Animal Protection Book. The Momoge National Nature Reserve is the only roosting area of white storks in the east. As many as 800 storks stop here each year, which is truly the largest stork group in the world.
  
The Fruit Forest Park (lín guǒ yuán 林果园)
The Fruit Forest Park is located on the east side of the Crane Park. On entering the Fruit Fruit Forest ParkForest Park, the fragrance of flowers on various fruit trees greets you along with the hearty laughter of gardeners. Here the pink apricot blossom, the white plum flowers, the pink-white Chinese flowering apple, the purple red grape flowers blend together, creating a flourishing scene added by the lovely fragrance and the twittering of birds. If you come in autumn, you can taste the newly-picked fruit, the sweet fresh air of it will surely satisfy you.
  
The Thousand Bird Park (qiān niǎo yuán 千鸟园)
The Thousand Birds Park, on the east side of the Fruit Forest Park, has as many as 100 species of birds and the number of birds nearly amounts to 1000. This is a natural bird park with least human interference. Oncoming is the scarlet flowers in bloom, the thriving green grass, the flittering orioles, dancing butterflies and hovering bees. This is a world full of life. This is forever spring with the breeze, the ripple of the stream, the whispering of the insects and the singing of birds.
 
Thousans BirdsOn the vast plains of northwest of Jilin Province, lies a bright pearl - Momoge, "the hometown of cranes, the heaven of birds". The fine environment attracts numerous birds from different areas. It is recorded that there are 193 kinds of birds, among them as much as 35 kinds were listed on the first and second levels of national protected birds, especially the white cranes and red-crowned cranes. It is always granted the title of Paradise of a Hundred Birds. It draws large quantities of tourists in and out of the country to visit and investigate every year. In spring and autumn, hundreds of birds will gather here. It is the golden time for bird expert and tourists. Momoge National Nature Reserve, a charming museum of nature, with its spreading appeal, is like a famous gem hasn't been sculptured: original, unsophisticated, precious and graceful.
 
Location: in the east of Zhenlai County (zhèn lài xiàn 镇赉县)
Transportation: take bus to Zhenlai County at Baicheng Bus Station
Tel: 0436-7811545
Admission Fee: CNY 30
Momoge National Nature Reserve
 
 
 

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