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|Friday, August 04, 2000, updated at 15:35(GMT+8)|
Ecology of China's Largest Urban Wetland ImprovedTens of thousands of ducks and gulls have returned to the Lhalu Wetland in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region as ecological environment has been greatly improved in recent years.
The wetland, covering 6.2 square kilometers meters near Lhasa City with an elevation of 3,645 meters, is considered as the largest wetland in China's urban districts. Over 95 percent of the wetland is covered with grass and other plants.
The wetland produces oxygen all day long, which is quite valuable for Lhasa, an oxygen-deficient highland city. It also plays important role in sucking up suspending dust and maintaining underground water level.
However, the area of the wetland has shrunk from 10 sq. km. in the 1960s to present 6.2 sq. km. due to construction of new houses, fish ponds and crop cultivation in the past three decades. Some parts of the wetland have been dried up. Wildlife and fish species were reduced. Over 5,000 heads of sheep and cattle nibbled grass on the wetland.
To curb ecological deterioration, the government of Lhasa issued a regulation on protecting Lhalu Wetland last April and allocated 100 million yuan for its protection.
Business operations and construction are banned on the wetland. Over 75,000 pine and willow have been planted around the wetland.
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