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Lake Profile

Dongting (Dongting-hu)

General Information

Description Lake Dongting is the most important catchment and flood storing basin of the Changjiang River. Siltation is a serious problem, now dividing the lake into three separate basins.
Country China
Latitude 29° 20' 0" (29.3333)
Longitude 112° 55' 0" (112.9167)
River Basin Yangtze

Physical Characteristics

Description Surface area varies widely, between 2,740 and 12,000 square km.
Volume 18.00 km3
Surface Area 4,350.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 6.7 m
Origin River
Type Fresh
Catchment Catchment size: 259,430.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 60:1


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Other Issues Erosion
Specific Contaminants Industrial

Biodiversity Conservation

Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
Ramsar Site Name Nan Dongting Wetland and Waterfowl Reserve, Xi Dongting Lake (Mupinghu) Nature Reserve
Ramsar Designations 2, 3, 5, 6
Species of Concern Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana)

Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus)

Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis)



Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
Dongting Lake Ramsar Fact Sheet
ILEC Database
Invasive species in China: an overview
Profile of Ramsar sites in China
Projects funded under the Ramsar Small Grants Fund, 1991-2000
Ramsar Convention and Mai Po Nature Reserve


4/7/2005 - Disappearing Lakes, Shrinking Seas
9/8/2004 - China's second largest freshwater lake on flood alert
4/2/2004 - Fishing Ban Starts on Dongting Lake
10/17/2003 - Renewing lakes along the Yangtze River in China
3/4/2003 - Poyang & Dongting lakes benefiting from restoration efforts
3/3/2003 - Freshwater lakes recovering
11/22/2002 - China considers stricter invasive species controls: Amazonian snails infiltrating lakes
9/12/2002 - Flood risk families get new homes
8/24/2002 - China battles to plug lake defences
8/20/2002 - Millions menaced by China floods
1/11/2002 - China names 14 new Wetlands of International Importance
10/12/2001 - China and the UN have $10 million plan to restore lost lakes

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Duker, L. and L. Borre. 2001. Biodiversity conservation of the world's lakes: a preliminary framework for identifying priorities. LakeNet Report Series Number 2. Annapolis, Maryland USA.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.
Jin, Xiangcan. 1995. Lakes in China. Vols. I and II. China Ocean Press, China.
Munawar, M. And R. Hecky. 2001. The Great Lakes of the World (GLOW) Food-web, Health & Integrity. Backhuys Publishers, The Netherlands.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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