The city-protected Wanshan Archipelago Nature Reserve is to be expanded to 2,208.4 hm2 by incorporating 32 uninhabited islands and excluding parts of inhabited regions.
The Zhuhai Urban Utilities & Forestry Bureau, which established the coastal nature reserve in 2000 to protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of the islands, published the notice on June 5.
Located in the Wanshan Marine Development Experimental Zone of the Pearl River Estuary, the reserve comprises Dong'ao, Baili, Big Wanshan, and Small Wanshan islands, and covers an area of 2,207 hm2.
Wanshan Archipelago [File Photo]
The plan suggests that densely populated communities, towns, and areas planned before the reserve was established should be removed from protection. This means that all Big Wanshan Island and the majority of Dong'ao and Small Wanshan islands, totaling 1,345.88 hm2, may fall outside the range for better administration and development.
Another 32 inhabited islands of 1,347.28 hm2 in total area will become protected reserves. These places, primitive and untouched, are the major nesting areas for rare and endangered species, especially birds. The inclusion will make the nature reserve 1.4 hm2 larger.
Having passed city expert review, the plan awaits Guangdong government approval in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
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