Nature of China
China is the most populated country of the world. It is situated in East Asia and occupies significant part of the Eurasia Continent. Actually it is the third (or fourth depending on method of calculation of area of USA) largest country of the world after Russia and Canada. Eastern side of the country is washed by the Pacific Ocean.
Due to vast area China has wide variety of reliefs and weather conditions. In terms of geology the country is roughly divided in three main regions: Tibetan plateau in south-west, northern highlands and mountain and relatively plain lands in north-east, east and south.
Plain regions are most populated thus nature experiences severe damage caused by human activity.
Climate varies in great range between subtropical in south-east to cold desert in north-west, but majority of country’s territory lies in the zone of temperate climate. Such variety of climate and relief results exceptional diversity of nature.
Places in China
Travelling around China tourist will be able to wander in dense forests, climb mountains and survive in deserts. Complete list of Chinas’ natural heritage will comprise from numerous books, but there are some most exciting and unique sites that will provide indelible impression.
Zhangye National Geopark
510 km2 (197 sq. mi.) of the park’s area are covered by rainbow cliffs of Danxia landform. Mesmerizing curves of wavy colorful sandstone cliffs causing doubts in reality of the scenery. This completely alien landscape was formed over 24 million years as the result of depositing of various minerals and movement of lithospheric plates.
Reed Flute Cave
The Reed Flute Cave is situated not far from the city of Guilin. It is vast 240 m (787’) long natural hall with numerous stalactites and stalagmites and other weird formations. Part of the cave is lightened by colorful spotlights. Over 1200 years it serves as the place for entertaining domestic and foreign tourists.
Chengdu Panda Base
Giant Pandas are Chinese treasure, so no wonder there are some sanctuaries for those adorable creatures. The base was founded in 1987 with only 6 pandas, but now there are more than hundred of them. Unfortunately population of wild pandas is extremely small, so chance of seeing one of them in natural habitat while casually travelling around the country is low.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Natural column cliffs of the national park comprise of sandstone and quartz. There are over 3000 of such formations and third part of them is higher than 200 m (656’). Highest point of the park is 1890 m tall mountain Doupeng. 98% of parks territory is covered by forestation of around 720 species.
Shilin (Stone Forest)
Shilin has area of 350 km2 (135 sq. mi.) spangled by pointy limestone formations. Dense ranges of those cliffs are similar to forest and the site was named after such appearance. It is part of larger geological formation of South China Karst. Stone Forest has seven picturesque regions with exceptional variety of formations including rare pointy cliffs.
Flora of China
(Ginko green leaves)
Flora of the country is exceptionally diverse. There are more than 32000 species of plants. Majority of plants typical for zones of cold, temperate and tropic climate of Northern Hemisphere are growing there.
There are 7000 species of trees including some endemics:
- dawn redwood;
- Chinese swamp cypress;
- golden larch;
- ghost tree;
Over 3000 of plants in China have medicinal value. Among them there are: ginseng, distaff thistles, lycium and purple passion. In general greenery varies depending on climate and altitude of given location.
Fauna of China
(Chinese water dragon)
Biodiversity in China is broad. About 10% of all living creatures of the world have populations in the country. There are 6300 species of vertebrates and 3860 species of fishes. Among the rarest there are:
- giant panda;
- golden snub-nosed monkeys;
- South China tigers;
- red-crowned cranes;
- crested ibises;
- Chinese river dolphin;
- Chinese alligator.
Though long historical period nature of China was severely damaged, but since 1980-s the state focused on protection, preservation and reservation of nature.