BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The ecology of China's wetlands of international importance has been improving in the wake of better water quality and biodiversity, said a white paper issued by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Wednesday.
China now has 64 wetlands of international importance, including 63 on the mainland and one in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The white paper surveyed the wetlands on the mainland.
The 63 wetlands covered 3.73 million hectares in 2021, up from the size registered in 2019. They are home to 2,258 species of wetland plants and 260 species of wetland birds, according to the white paper.
Despite progress in conservation, the wetlands face threats from alien plant invasion, environmental pollution and overgrazing.
In the future, China will continue to boost conservation of the wetlands of international importance, carry out wetland ecological restoration, strengthen the prevention and control of alien species and improve wetland management capacity, said Wu Zhimin, an official with the administration.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of China joining the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. The convention, which took effect in 1975, aims to provide the framework for international cooperation for the conservation of wetland habitats.
Wetlands include marshes, beaches and lakes, which in many cases are the natural habitats of waterfowl, particularly migratory birds which move across borders.