Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

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Geographic location:West of Zhongwei City, Ningxia


Opening hours: 08:00~18:00

Suitable for the play season:July-November

Shapotou: National AAAAA-level tourist scenic spot, national-level desert ecological nature reserve, 500 environmental protection units in the world, 20 famous landscapes for national fitness, special award for scientific and technological progress.

Shapotou is located on the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert in the west of Zhongwei City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It is located in the east of Erdao Shagou South Forest House, west to the head of the road, north to the Tengger Desert, south to the Yellow River, about 38 kilometers long, about 5 kilometers wide, with an altitude of 1300-1500 meters, with a total area of 4599.3 hectares. 3% of the total land area of Zhongwei City. It is one of the 20 key areas for sand control in the country.

Shapotou is a place with a desert, a yellow river, a mountain, and an oasis. It has a magnificent scenery in the northwest and a beautiful scenery in the south of the Yangtze River. There is China’s largest natural sand-sanding field, with the “Yellow River Yellow River First Cable” across the Yellow River, the Yellow River Culture representing the ancient waterwheel, the oldest transport tool on the Yellow River, the sheepskin scorpion, and the rare mirage in the desert. You can ride a camel through the Tengger Desert, you can take the off-road vehicle to surf the sand, and you can enjoy the wonders of the desert and the long river.

The main protection objects of Shapotou are natural desert landscape, natural sandy vegetation, scientific research achievements in sand control, wild animals, Ming Great Wall, Shapo Mingzhong and other human landscapes and their natural complexes. At the 2018 China Northwest Tourism Marketing Conference and Tourism Equipment Exhibition, it was shortlisted for the “Magic Northwest 100 Scenes” list. At the 2018 China Yellow River Tourism Conference, it was rated as “50 Scenes of the Yellow River in China”. The best leisure destination for China National Tourism in 2018.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Historical evolution

In September 1984, Ningxia Shapotou Nature Reserve was established.
From 1986 to 1987, the first comprehensive comprehensive investigation of the protected area was carried out.
In April 1994, it was approved by the State Council as a national nature reserve.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Geographical environment


The Zhongwei City District to which the protected area belongs is located at the western end of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, at the junction of the three provinces of Ning, Gan, and Meng. The coordinates of the jurisdiction are 104°17′~105°37′ east longitude and 36°59′~37°43′ north latitude. It is located at the head of the Yellow River front cover, south to Xiangshan Mountain, north to Tengger Desert, and central to the Yellow River alluvial plain. The total land area is 4599.3 hectares, which is one of the 20 key sand control areas in China.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Geological landform

The terrain of the reserve is high in the northwest and low in the southeast, leaning from the northwest to the southeast. The sand dunes are horizontal and vertical, undulating and covering, covering the second or third-order red sandstone and high river floodplain terraces and alluvial plains. The desert in the reserve is moved forward by the Tengger Desert. The thickness of the sand layer is generally 20-30m. , the thickest up to 50m. Most of them are ridge-like sand dunes, crescent-shaped dune chains, crescent-shaped dunes and lattice crescent-shaped sand dunes, which constitute a typical aeolian landform.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve


The protected area is a temperate continental climate and belongs to the temperate arid climate zone in the national natural division. It has the characteristics of drought, less rain, strong evaporation, large temperature difference between cold and heat, sufficient sunshine, more wind and sand, long winter and cold, short summer heat, late spring and warm, early autumn and early weather disasters. The annual average solar radiation total is 6.2×10J/m, the sunshine hours are 2776.72 hours, and the annual average temperature is 9.6°C. The minimum temperature in January is -25.1 °C. The highest temperature in July was 38.1 °C, the annual difference was 63.2 °C, the accumulated temperature of ≥10 °C was 3017 °C, and the frost-free period of ≥0 °C averaged 179 days. The annual average precipitation is 186.6mm, and the annual evaporation is 3000mm. It is 16 times the annual average precipitation, and the dryness is 2.4. The annual sandstorm time is more than 900 hours, the annual average wind speed is 2.8m/s, the wind sand is more from March to June, and the maximum wind power can reach eight. Strong winds are often accompanied by sandstorms, and sandstorms average 5 to 19 days a year. The wind is mostly northwest. The main severe weather is drought, frost, wind, heavy rain, hail, hot dry wind, low temperature and cold damage.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve


The surface water in the reserve mainly includes the Yellow River water, atmospheric precipitation runoff and spring lakes. The runoff of the Yellow River during the wet and dry periods is relatively large, the natural ratio of the water surface is about 1/1300, the flow rate during the flood period is 2.2-4.0 m/s, the normal water period is 1.7-3.0 m/s, and the dry season is 0.77-2.0 m/ s. The average water depth flood period is 1.8 to 8.7 m, the normal water period is 1.7 to 5.2 m, and the dry season is 1.6 to 3.7 m. The average flow rate is 1038 m/s. Due to the control of the base structure, some closed inland lake basins are formed. Inland lakes such as Alkali Lake, Xiaohu, Gaodun Lake, Machang Lake and Cao Cao Lake have a total area of 721 hectares and are the habitat of many vertebrate groups in this area.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve


The soil type of Shapotou Conservation Area is relatively complex. There are 6 soil types distributed. The total soil area is 13262.6 hectares. It is mainly composed of aeolian sandy soil, and there are also lime-calcium soil, fluvo-aquic soil, new soil, silt soil and salt soil distribution. The area of aeolian sandy soil is 10610 hectares, accounting for about 80% of the total soil area of the protected area; the area of gray-calcium soil is 1127 hectares, accounting for 8.5% of the total soil area of the protected area; the area of fluvo-aquic soil is 1326 hectares, accounting for 10% of the total soil area of the protected area; In addition, the total area of new soil, silt soil and saline soil is only 199.6 hectares, accounting for 1.5% of the total area of the protected area.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Geographic range

The Shapotou National Nature Reserve covers the south of the Erdao Shagou South Forest Protection Building, west to the head of the Doudou, north to the Tengger Desert, and the Shapotou section extends 1000 to 2000 meters to the north, along the “Three North” shelter forest. The baseline of the second phase extends to the northeast to the periphery of Dingbeidun 300-500 meters, south to the Yellow River, about 38km from east to west, and about 5km from north to south. Geographical coordinates: east longitude 104°49’25′′~105°09′24′′, north latitude 37 °25’58″~37°37’24”. There are 6 administrative villages in Shapotou Village, Mingzhong Village, Heilin Village, Jiadao Village, Mengjiawan Village and Changliushui Village.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Protection target

The main protection areas of Shapotou National Nature Reserve are natural desert landscape, natural sandy vegetation, scientific research achievements in sand control, wild animals, Ming Great Wall, Shapo Mingzhong and other human landscapes and their natural complexes.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Plant resources

There are 14 families, 8 genera and 14 species of gymnosperms (including subspecies), and 426 species (including subspecies) of 75 genera and 7 families of angiosperms. The total number of seed plants is 440 species and 440 genera in 79 families, accounting for 24.30 of seed plants in Ningxia Autonomous Region. %. Among them, there are 176 species of cultivated plants; 264 species of wild plants are naturally distributed, including 190 species of dicotyledons, and 12 species, 41 genera and 72 species of monocotyledonous plants. Protected areas are listed in the national first- and second-level protected plants: naked fruit trees, sand holly and populus. The endemic plants in the Alashan region include Ala sylvestris, Broad-leaved cypress and Artemisia. There are 63 kinds of resource plants with economic value, accounting for 14.32% of the seed plants in the reserve.

The wetland plants in the reserve have two major categories, aquatic and wet, with 114 species, accounting for 25.91% of the plant species in the reserve. The aquatic plants in the reserve are divided into submerged plants, floating plants and emergent plants.

Submerged plants, the whole plant sinks under water, is a typical aquatic plant. Their roots are degraded or disappeared. Epidermal cells can directly absorb gas, nutrients and water in the water; chloroplasts are large and large, adapting to the weak light environment in the water; asexual reproduction is more developed than sexual reproduction. Representative species of such plants in protected areas include cyanobacteria, cyanobacteria, and the like.

Floating plants, leaves floating on the surface of the water, pores distributed on the leaves, vascular bundles and mechanical tissue are not developed, asexual reproduction speed, high productivity. The protected areas represent duckweed and eye vegetables.

It is a water-producing plant. The plant body rises out of the water, the body cells are large, and the ventilation and water-passing performance is good. The protected area represents plants with cattails and the like.

The wetland vegetation in the reserve can be divided into two vegetation groups, three vegetation types, six vegetation subtypes and 11 groups.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Animal resources

There are 194 species of vertebrates in the reserve, including 18 species of fish, 3 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 147 species of birds and 21 species of mammals. Fish accounted for 58.1% of the fish species in Ningxia Autonomous Region, amphibians accounted for 50.0%, reptiles accounted for 27.8%, birds accounted for 51.9%, and mammals accounted for 29.6%. There are 23 types of protected areas listed in the National Key Protected Wildlife List, accounting for 11.9% of the vertebrate in the protected area, including 5 first-class protected animals: black carp, golden eagle, jade belt sea eagle, white-tailed sea eagle and giant salamander. There are 18 species of secondary protected animals: gray crane, dragonfly crane, white spoonbill, desert cat, dragonfly, goosebill, rock sheep and so on. There are 21 species of vertebrates listed in the CITES appendix, accounting for 10.82% of the vertebrate species in the reserve. Among them, only one type of white-tailed sea eagle is listed in Appendix I, and the rest are Appendix II. There are 65 species of birds listed in the Sino-Japanese Protocol on the Protection of Migratory Birds and Habitats and distributed in protected areas, accounting for 44.2% of the number of birds in the reserve.

Wetlands are habitats for a variety of vertebrate groups. The wetland animals in the reserve are listed as national protected animals, and there are 7 species, accounting for 30.43% of the protected animals in the protected area. Among them, 2 species of I: jade belt sea eagle and white tail sea eagle; : 鹗, big swan, gray crane, 蓑 feather crane and white spoonbill.

There are 18 species of fish in protected area wetlands. Among them, there are 8 types of transit Yellow Rivers that are planned to be transferred to protected areas, accounting for 44.44% of the fish in protected areas.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Wetland resources

Wetlands in protected areas can be divided into two types: natural wetlands and constructed wetlands. The natural wetlands of the reserve consist of rivers and swamp lakes. The Yellow River flows from Shapotou and forms a river wetland ecosystem with the living creatures on its shore and in the water. The adjustment plan will include the transit of the Yellow River into the protected area to increase the wetland area of the protected area. As the Yellow River water infiltrates into the ground, it is stored in the gravel layer, forming a rich aquifer of groundwater. In the lowlands, groundwater overflows and forms a considerable area of swamps, mainly distributed in Machang Lake (30 hectares), Gaodun Lake (80 hectares), small lakes (30 hectares) and wild grass lakes. Constructed wetlands in protected areas are wetlands formed by human activities. The wetlands in protected areas are mainly fish ponds. Most of the existing fish ponds have been developed since 1987 with a total area of 218 hectares.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Develop and use

Tourism Development

Shapotou Tourist Area is the first batch of AAAA-class tourist scenic spots in the country. It is the first national-level desert ecological nature reserve. It is the seat of the three major songs in China. It is the site of the sound control of sand in 1994. The honorary title of “Global 500 Best Environmental Protection Units” was awarded the “Science and Technology Progress Special Award” by the State Council in the same year. In 2004, it was awarded “Twenty Famous Landscapes for National Fitness” by the State Sports General Administration. On May 8, 2007, the Shapotou Tourism Scenic Spot in Zhongwei City was officially approved by the National Tourism Administration as a national 5A tourist attraction.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Economic benefit

Through the establishment and effective management of nature reserves, the resources in the nature reserve can be reasonably protected and scientifically and rationally utilized, which is conducive to the virtuous circle of the desert ecosystem in the nature reserve, and further guarantee the smooth flow of the “Baolan” railway of the northwest railway artery. The railway transportation efficiency will be more than 10.8 million yuan per year. The results of sand control in protected areas will be promoted in desertification areas of the country and 56 countries and regions around the world, which will bring greater economic benefits. After the completion of the project planning, the ecological benefits generated by the protected areas can promote the development of the local regional economy, while greatly improving and improving the self-supporting capacity of the protected areas.

The development of desert eco-tourism activities has an annual tourism income of more than 20 million yuan, which can increase the income of local tourism and other service industries, and promote the development of tertiary industries such as catering, transportation, transportation and hotels in Shapotou.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

Ecological value

The protected area has a unique climate, and the landform and soil types are diverse and complex. The Yellow River passes through the edge of the protected area, and the Shapotou Water Control Project, which integrates irrigation and power generation, is built here. Complex natural geography provides a variety of habitats for the formation and development of various organisms and ecological types. The “five-in-one” sand-fixing forest protection project, which is dominated by wheatgrass and geranium plants, protects the unimpeded and unimpeded roads of the Baolan Railway and the Yinlan Highway. It successfully resists the south invasion of the Tengger Desert and forms in the desert in the northwest. A virtuous cycle of ecological environment. At the same time, the “Three North” shelterbelt project system in the district is like a green ecological barrier, which protects the ecological security of the Xizhongzhongbao railway transportation hub and the industrial and agricultural production base in Zhongwei City, so as to protect it from sand and sand.

Ningxia Shapotou National Nature Reserve

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