Xianghai National Nature Reserve, a major habitat of migratory birds in northeast China's Jilin Province, has closed off all of its scenic spots to prevent tourists from avian-borne diseases.
"It's necessary to close the nature reserve in order to reduce contact between human and birds," Bao Jun, deputy director of Xianghai National Nature Reserve Administration, told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Saturday.
Jilin adjacent to bird flu-hit Liaoning Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has strengthened inspection and quarantine to keep the disease out of the province.
The wetland reserve of Xianghai, the Momoge Nature Reserve in the province and Zhalong Nature Reserve in Jilin's neighbouring Heilongjiang Province are the three major protection bases for cranes.
Xianghai, the home of 253 kinds of rare birds including some 60 red-crowned cranes, is on the flight route of migratory birds, which increases the province's risk of bird flu outbreak.
"Groups of migratory birds have been flying south over the wetland these days," said Bao, noting that the reserve administration has taken measures to strengthen surveillance of the birds.
The birds living in the reserve have been injected anti-bird flu vaccines, said Bao, adding that 10 observation stations and a 60-person surveillance team have been set up, carrying out round-the-clock watch on the birds.
"The migration of birds will last for another couple of days," Bao said, "The risk of bird flu will decrease after the end of migratory season."