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Saihanwula Biosphere Reserve, China

Located in the province of Inner Mongolia, the Saihan Wula (which means ‘the sovereign mountains in Mongolia’) Biosphere Reserve consists of cold temperate forests, grasslands, wetland ecosystems and the catchment areas of the Xiliaohe River, with a rich biodiversity. The specific traditions of the local ethnic people have contributed to the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, sustainable development has been underlined in most of the local economic activities.

Designation date: 2001

Photo gallery ǀ  Press release


Regional network: East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN)

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 100,400 ha

    • Core area(s) : 15,800 ha
    • Buffer zone(s) : 33,700 ha
    • Tansition zone(s): 50,900 ha

    Location: 44°13'N - 118°36'30"E

    Administrative authorities

    Saihanwula National Nature Reserve Administration
    Daban Town, Rechtes Bairin Banner
    Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, 025150

    Tel.: +86 476-6290926


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    Ecological Characteristics

    Saihanwula Biosphere Reserve is situated in the mountainous region south of Greater Khingan Range and sited in the north of Rechtes Bairin Banner in Chifeng City of Inner Mongolia. It sees the transition from grasslands to forests and from broad-leaved forests in East Asia to boreal coniferous forests of Greater Khingan Range. The overall terrain of the reserve features a slant, high in the northeast end and low in the southwest end. The highest peak, towering Wulanba in the north, has an elevation of 1,957m, followed by Saihanwula in the southeast with an elevation of 1,951m. Apart from them, range upon range of majestic hills, of various shapes and sizes, soar high in the reserve.

    The reserve embraces 10 rivers and accommodates 10 types of landscape habitats, with 4 major ecosystems including mountain forest, grassland, wetland waters and farmland. The dominant habitat is mountain forest, accounting for 82.1% of the total. There are 39 vegetation communities in the reserve, falling into 10 sub-types and 6 types. Up to now, 2512 plant species have been identified. The reserve also embraces 38 species of wild mammals, falling into 17 families and 6 orders. Wild red deer population gets well preserved in the reserve. The reserve is also home to 237 species of birds, 11 species of amphibian reptiles, 7 species of fish, 591 identified species of insects and 21 species of zooplankton. The specific traditions of the local ethnic people have contributed to the conservation of biodiversity.


    Socio-economic characteristics

    People in the reserve, mostly of Mongolian, Han and Hui nationality, are living in the transition area. They mainly rely on agricultural production for a living, including wheat, corn, potato and rape. The livestock here includes cattle, sheep and pigs. There are also a red deer farm and Edible Wild Potherb Plant in the reserve, which help increase the income of local residents. Eco-tourism has been promoted as an alternative industry, of which sustainability is underlined. Three tourist attractions so far have been developed to receive nearly 10,000 people. Together with 6 Gacha villages (Rongsheng, Ashanhe, Hanshangou, Changxing, etc.), the reserve has planted trees in more than 20,000 acres in the transition area. Farmers and herdsmen are encouraged to engage in tourism and develop specialty aquaculture and Edible wild potherb processing industry. For example, an annual output of 30 tons of Edible Wild Potherb Plant has been set up for commercial use, which could also raise 40 red deer and 120 wild boars. The reserve also collaborates with the community in building roads and harnessing rivers, etc. Forest protection projects are also carried forth, which create jobs for forest farm workers.


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    Last updated: July 2019