Located at the junction of the Fuyu County and the lower reaches of Wuyu'er River, west of Heilongjiang Province, Zhalong Nature Reserve is the nature reserve in the types of wetland ecosystem. The preserve makes up of a broad stretch of permanent and seasonal freshwater swamp at the lower river valley of Wuyu'er River, and innumerable small shallow lakes.
During the rainy season, the meadows around the wetlands acquire their greatest breadth and are formed a handsome chain of shallow vernal lakes, resorted to by numerous gulls and ducks. There are many national-level rare and endangered species of flora and fauna listed as main protection species like the great white cranes, which is the second rarest and most precious crane species, ranking second only to the whooping crane, with a world population of fewer than 2,500 birds.
Zhalong Nature Reserve is recognized universally as an important living region for the rare red-crowned cranes. Visitor could occasionally enjoy the famous view of the tertial black plumes of their broad wings arranging over their rumps like elegant bustles. It's regarded as the most complete, the most primitive and the broadest wetlands ecosystems at the same latitude in North China.
Belong to the continental monsoon climate of the North Temperate Zone; Zhalong Nature Reserve is wetland natural complex with the most primitive landscape and the world's richest in terms of biodiversity. As the tributary of the Nenjiang River, Wuyu'er River runs through it yet the channel disappears. It gradually overflows and turns into a swampy stretch of lowlands with the swelling reeds and teeming with fish and shrimps, which make the place become a natural habitat for rare water birds.
In their deepest parts, the marsh is more than 0.75 meter in depth; while the lake could reach to the deepest point of 5 meters. Certain kinds of fish, insects, beasts and birds travel thousands of miles to their homelands in order to give birth. Among which the red-crowned cranes, white-naped crane, hooded crane and grey crane are all the wildlife under first or second class under special state protection.
Every year from April to May, a swoop of over 200 red-crowned cranes arrived on motionless wing from their roost site in a nearby river so as to live successfully in their habitat. The diverse habitat and rich vegetation affords an ideal breeding place for a lively and varied selection of birdlife.
There're many tourist attractions here, for example, the Elm Trees Hills is the famous one that bird watchers could come to the reception desk, watch a movie on a video cassette recorder about Zhalong Nature Reserve and the red-crowned crane. At the attic, one can look into the distance the wetland landscape where the water birds nest and breed.
The wetland ecosystem had enjoyed a good reputation for "The Kidney of the Earth” with huge ecological and environmental functions, including protecting biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and serving educational and recreational tourism, which had received additional consideration by scientists and governments all over the world.