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Lashihai (Lashi Lake) Watershed

Lashihai Watershed of Lijiang

At an elevation of 2,500 meters, Lashihai (Lashi Lake) is the largest highland lake in Lijiang County, and an important habitat for over 57 species of migratory birds. With the highest water bird species diversity of any lake in Northwest Yunnan, the lake provides a winter home to protected migratory birds species such as the black-necked crane, whooper swan and black stork. The birds feed on Lashihai's abundance of local crops, aquatic plants and 7 different species of fish. The Class III protected water lily is one of the 47 aquatic plant species found in the lake. This lake is situated 8 km west of Lijiang City with an area of about 9 square kilometers. In the Naxi language, Lashi means "New Basin". This beautiful lake is not only a scenic spot but also a provincial nature reserve because of the rich biodiversity of life forms found here. The grassy marshland and swamp provide a nice home for wetland animals and plants. In early winter, lots of wild birds will come here from cold northern places. They rest in the grass and look for food in streams. The warm climate makes it possible for them to pass the long winter safely. When next spring comes and flowers bloom, the birds will leave for the north for reproduction. They bring life to the villages at the foot of Jade Dragon Mountain. Especially when black-necked cranes fly over Jade Dragon in rosy clouds of dawn, you will feel that the legend about the Naxi has come true. (According to book of Dongba, the goddess Chenhong Baobai transformed herself into a crane, and carried Chongrenli'en who had survived the floods to the heaven and begged her father to let them get married. Their children then became the ancestor of Naxi people). .

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