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Jiuzhaigou(Nine Fence Gully)

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In the northern Sichuan,close to the border of Northwest China’s Gansu Province,Jiuzhaigou is a breathtaking alpine valley discovered by lumber-jacks in the 1970s.It now welcomes an annual influx of nearly one million tourists from home and abroad.

Jiuzhaigou Scenic area refers to the“Y”shaped three gullies of Shuzhen,Rize,and Zechawa,altogether covering an area of 720km2 and stretching out for a total length of over 50km.It is a habitat of Tibetans,and geologically a cold alpine Karst topography in nature.The nine villages and the mountain lakes,caled“haizi”(sea,or son of sea),shining like crystalmirrors,dot in the depth of forests and snow mountains.At the upper mostlies the Long Lake,while the Grass Lake is the end of Rize Gully.The two gullies run down northward and join together at Nuorilang to form the be-ginning of Shuzheng Gully.The height drop amounts to 1 000m or more from the joint of the two gullies to the outlet of Shuzheng Gully.Lining along the distance are 114 stepped lakes,between which are 17 waterfall groups,11 torrents,and 5 calcareous tufa shoals,forming“a fairy land under thesky”that features in alpine lake groups,waterfall groups,and calcareous tufa shoals,as well as snow mountains,virgin forests,and Tibetan folklore.

Jiuzhaigou Gully is rich with flora.At present it has 30 000 hectares of natural forests,2 576 species of higher plants as well as 400 species of low-er plants.With the numerous lakes and various vegetation,Jiuzhaigou has aself complete ecological system,which provides the best habitats for wild animals.Investigation shows in the gully there are 170 kinds of vertebrates,and 141 species of birds,of which 3 are under Class I state protection,4 un-der Class Ⅱ,and 10 under Class Ⅲ.

In December of 1992 it was inscribed on World Heritage List by UNESCO.

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