The IBA is located in the climatic transition between the central and northern subtropical regions, with a mild and moist climate and well-defined seasonality. The wetlands help to regulate the water level in the Yangtze River. In the wet season the area of shallow water area is around 12,400 ha, with an area of deep water of some 53,000 ha. In the dry season the shallow water area increases to 46,000 ha, and the deep water area decreases to 19,400 ha.
Non-bird biodiversity: The area supports Psephurus gladius, Acipenser sinenis and Neophocaenoides.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dongting Hu wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/12/2019.