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Sanmenxia, city of swans

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2013-05-31

Sanmenxia, city of swans

From early winter to early spring, Sanmenxia plays host to an interesting, intimate group of friends --- white swans. These magnificent birds make a long journey from Siberia to this location, where they can be seen in the hundreds of thousands, flying freely over a broad, rippling lake surface. They paddle about, forage, then rest peacefully in the beautiful landscape, attracting watchers from all over the world.

There is no record about swans’ first arrival in Sanmenxia. In the 1960s and 70s, Sanmenxia was a transfer station for migrating swans on their way south. Sanmenxia became the home of various swans starting in the 90s. The amount of swans in the city has increased to over 10,000, accounting for one-tenth of their global population. The swans, forest and wetland have a harmonious relationship in Sanmenxia.

The forest coverage rate of Sanmenxia is nearly 50 percent, the most in Henan province. As a national garden and forest city, Sanmenxia is home to the biggest national wetland natural protection zone. It provides rich food and comfortable living space for swans, one reason why swans make the arduous trip every year to spend the winter in Sanmenxia.

Sanmenxia, city of swans

Sanmenxia sits on the south bank of the Yellow River, with three sides exposed to the river. It is “surrounded with hills on four sides and water on three, looking half village, half farmland.”

Swan Lake National Urban Wetland Park, the largest garden in Henan province, covers an area of 590 hectares, 410 hectares of which are dry land. The water area and mudflat of the park measures 180 hectares, which will expand to 333 hectares during the reservoir impounding period. The park is a national 4A scenic spot.

Sanmenxia is recognized as a “Hometown of Giant Swans” for its fine balance of ecology, environment and people.

 

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