Dunhuang Nature Reserve and Western Qilian Shan mountains

Year of compilation: 2009

Site description
Located in the western part of Gansu Province, adjacent to Qinghai Province. The climate of this mountainous IBA is temperate semi-arid, and the habitats range from steppe to semi-desert, but there are also grasslands, scrub and broadleaf forests. The human population is low and mostly relies on herding, with agricultural activities in a few areas. The Qilian Shan and Mazong Shan mountains are important pathways for migratory birds.

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: Many protected mammals are found in this nature reserve, such as Snow Leopard, Lynx, Mongolian Wild Ass, Tibetan Wild Ass, Wild Camel etc.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Three provincial-level nature reserves, Subei Yanchiwan, Dunhuang Wanyaodun and Aksay Annanba were established in 1982, which were merged with the Mazong Shan area to form the large Dunhuang Nature Reserve in 2000. Anxi Nature Reserve was established at the provincial level in 1987 and upgraded to a national nature reserve in 1992. Other protected areas in the IBA include Yanchiwan Nature Reserve (424,800 ha) which was established at the provincial level in 1987, the provincial-level Da Sugan Hu Nature Reserve (9,640 ha) and Xiao Sugan Hu Nature Reserve (2,400 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dunhuang Nature Reserve and Western Qilian Shan mountains. Downloaded from on 29/07/2021.