Yancheng Biosphere Reserve is located in the central part of the east coast of China in the transition area between the temperate and subtropical zones. The biosphere reserve consists of a coastal beach area extending over 582 km and covering a total area of 280,000 hectares. The main objective of the biosphere reserve, which is also designated as a Ramsar site, is to protect the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) and its habitats. Among the wintering sites for the crane, Yancheng is the most important since it hosts over a half of the world population.
Some 90,000 people live in the biosphere reserve and about 20,000 tourists visit the biosphere reserve each year (1991). The original coastal wetlands in the biosphere reserve, which used to be its habitat, are threatened with increasing demand of land for food production and economic development. Thus, reed plantations, farmland and aquaculture ponds continue to replace the original wetlands. While reed plantations and artificial ponds are tolerable as habitat for the crane, the decrease of biodiversity is unavoidable.
The integration of resource use and habitat protection will remain the major concern of the biosphere reserve in the future. Read more about this biosphere reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.