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Bogeda Biosphere Reserve, China

The Bogeda Biosphere Reserve is located in the eastern region of the Tianshan Mountains. Local residents named the area the Sangong River Valley after one of the largest rivers in this region, which originates from Bogeda Peak. Altogether, five major landscapes are distributed throughout the northern and southern areas of the biosphere reserve: ice-snow belts (5,445–3,100 metres above sea level), alpine and sub-alpine meadow belts (3,100–2,500 metres asl), forest belts (2,500–1,600 metres asl), steppe belts (1,700–900 metres asl) and sand desert dunes (460–3,300 metres asl). The topography consists of a middle mountain belt, low mountain erosion hills and alluvial areas. Tianchi Lake is the only natural lake in the region and lies adjacent to the Sangong River.

Designation date: 1990

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Regional network: East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN) and SeaBRnet

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 128,690.00 ha

    • Core area(s): 48,690 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 40,000 ha
    • Tansition zone(s): 128,931 ha

    Location: 43º 52'' 48"N – 87º 45''E

    Administrative authorities

    Xinjiang Tianchi Lake Administration Committee
    No. 501 Junggar Street
    Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
    Fukang City 831500

    Tel.: +86 994-3526609


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Bogeda Biosphere Reserve is situated within the temperate continental arid climate zone. Different habitat types range from snowy landscapes to meadows, steppe and sand dunes, offering ideal circumstances for the development of a rich biodiversity. Alpine and sub-alpine landscapes with Koresia capilliformisand perennial herbaceous cover approximately 80% of the area. The low plain lingo halophyte vegetation desert zone contains flora species such as Suaeda physophora and Halostachys caspica.

    Characteristic fauna species include Ciconia nigra (Black stork), Buteo rufinus (Long-legged buzzard) and Felis lynx(Eurasian lynx). However, numerous endangered or threatened animal species within the biosphere reserve struggle for survival, including Falco Subbuteo (Eurasian hobby) and Gazella subgutturosa (Black-tailed gazelle) among others. The region is also home to species of commercial or traditional importance, such as Cistanche salca, which grows in desert habitats and is used for traditional Chinese medicine.


    Socio-economic characteristics

    About 134,000 people inhabit the Bodega biosphere reserve permanently, while over 410,000 people visit on a seasonal basis. The main economic activities are livestock, agriculture and tourism. The majority of inhabitants are Han Chinese (80%) with Hui (5%), Hasake (4%) and Uygur (4%) populations also living in the reserve. The nearest major town is Fukang City, located in the transition zone.

    Since the 1960s, the underground freshwater table has deepened, while the underground salt water table has risen. The result has been serious soil salinization and erosion, which hinders the cultivation of agricultural products. 

    The Tianchi Lake, located in the core area on the mountains, is a Taoist shrine and constitutes the main cultural and traditional site of the Bogeda Biosphere Reserve.




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    Last updated: July 2019