If you are an avid fan of birds, you can indulge your hobby at Khankaisky Biosphere Nature Reserve (BNR) where you can watch everything from the adults’ arrival back from warm countries in early April to the chicks’ first flights in the summer. Khankaisky BNR, made up of five sections around Lake Khanka and the nearby Sungacha River, was established in 1990 to protect migratory bird nesting sites and to conserve the unique wildlife and plant communities of the lake. Lake Khanka is one of the largest bodies of freshwater in Asia. The wetlands of Lake Khanka, which reaches into China, provide important nesting and stopover areas for hundreds of migratory birds. But long before the nature reserve was created, Lake Khanka was recognized as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (in 1971). In 1996, Russia and China signed an agreement establishing the Lake Khanka International Nature Reserve.
If sights of birds inspire you, arm yourself with binoculars and cameras and set off on the 29 km Bird Trail. The species you could see in the area include herons, cranes and storks. One of the most remarkable and endangered birds observed there is the crane. All 4 species of cranes registered in Khankaisky BNR are listed in the International Red Data Book. While Hooded Crane (Grus monachus) and Siberian White Crane (Grus leucogeranus) can be observe during migrations, while two other species, White-naped crane (Grus vipko), Japanese crane (Grus japonesis), nest in the protected area. All in all, Khankaisky BNR is home to over 347 bird species, more than 550 invertebrate species and 44 mammals. Besides watching birds from a 14-meter-high observation tower, you can take a boat ride and observe the panorama of the lake and ornithological fauna. The best season to visit Khankaisky Biosphere Nature Reserve is between April and November. The best time to see large numbers of migrating birds at the protected area is in early April-May and late September-October. A cost of a two-day tour varies from $1,500 to $2,500 per person depending on time of year, number of people and other things. Just let us know about your plan to visit the area and we will develop an individual itinerary to match your specific needs.
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