The wetland in Chongming, called Dongtan, is the city's biggest avian nature reserve under national conservation. It is a major nesting habitat for migrant birds. This is a place where visitors can get close to nature.
Chongming Dongtan Natural Reserve on Chongming Island (County) in Shanghai is among the the authoritative Ramsar (after a small town in Iran where the convention was signed) List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Each year Shanghai's Chongming Island becomes home to millions of migratory birds, some taking a well-earned rest on their arduous journey from Australia to Siberia.
Everywhere on the 1,200-square-kilometer island there are traces of geological transformation, endangered migrant birds, extraordinary plants and uniquegeological phenomena, including tidal flat morphology, tidal creeks and ripple marked marshlands.
The bird observation conditions change with the weather conditions. Generally speaking, visitors can see the birds more clearly during the period when the tide goes out and the birds are forced to stay on dry land. However, it's the opposite for the cranes as they move with the tides, making it easier for visitors to spot them at high tide.
The population of birds who rest in Chongming during their migration over the Pacific Ocean has grown to one million and now includes 290 species, according to latest estimates by the Dongtan administrative department.
As the reputation of Shanghai's biggest wetland and avian nature reserve grows, tourists from around the world are flocking to see the birds with their own eyes. Most of them visit Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve with excitement, however, some leave disappointed.