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Charhiri: No one in 300 years

 A beautiful paradise away from the hustle and bustle


  Xiaer Xili is Mongolian, meaning "yellow hillside". It is located in the northern mountainous area of ​​Bole City, Xinjiang. The nature reserve covers an area of ​​314 square kilometers with an altitude of 1210-3670 meters.

  During the Qing Dynasty, Zuo Zongtang led an army to pacify Xinjiang, and after untold hardships to defeat the rebels, he regained the territory. Later, due to the incompetence of the late Qing government, under the expansionist policy pursued by Tsarist Russia, the Xarhiri region was brutally encroached and occupied. It was not until after the disintegration of the Soviet Union that, in accordance with the second supplementary agreement of the "China-Kazakhstan Boundary Agreement", in 1998, Kazakhstan assigned 220 square kilometers of the disputed area to my country. In order to strengthen the protection and management of natural resources in the region, China established the Xiaerxili Nature Reserve in June 2000. This return also represents the strength and perseverance of our country's diplomacy. Whether Hong Kong, Macau, or Shirhiri, a place belongs to China, there is no shortage of it!

  The Xarxili Nature Reserve is 66 kilometers long from east to west and 25 kilometers wide from north to south. It consists of three parts, namely the Pauld River area in the west, the corridor area in the middle and the Jiangbas area in the east.


"The Last Pure Land"-Charciri


  When Xia Er Xili was taken over by China, the grass inside was one person tall and there were wild animals everywhere. Later, China opened up roads and people began to enter, and wild animals also hid in lush forests. At present, Xia Er Xili has no economic activities or permanent population. There are only a small number of border guards, 15 protection zone staff and 10 guards, and the total population is less than 100 (excluding garrisons).

  The soldiers stationed here all year round are officers and soldiers from the Bortala Army Subdistrict in Xinjiang. They not only shoulder the responsibility of guarding border security, but also take good care of this pure land. Every time they are on duty, they will promote wildlife protection knowledge to herders and encourage them to protect and treat wild animals voluntarily.

  Nowadays, many tourists come here admiringly. In order to protect this "last pure land," the garrisoned officers and soldiers used a variety of methods to patrol and protect. Everyone takes the maintenance of the ecological environment here as their bounden duty. The local herders and tourists affectionately call them

  "the patron saint of Shirhiri"!


China-Kazakhstan border canyon


  Charhiri is a military restricted zone. The garrisoned officers and soldiers have defended this beautiful secret for generations. A row of barbed wire has separated the two countries. Strict military control has been enforced here. To enter this beautiful and pristine place, you need a pass issued by the border guards.


A corner of the reserve


  Not long ago, the author went to Xiaer Xili with a scientific expedition team to conduct a comprehensive survey of humanities, history, nature and other disciplines. The western part of Xia Er Xili is a middle-high mountainous area. The winding mountain roads "flicker" under the sunlight, adding a little aura to this pure land. From the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain, it is necessary to climb more than 1,600 meters vertically on the mountain road. The steep terrain and the beautiful scenery are accompanied by the white snow covering the top of the mountain in spring and summer. Layers of fog are like flowing silver filaments around the mountains, and clouds of smoke swirl around, like a girl half covering her face with a handkerchief.

  The middle part is the middle and low mountain area, like a corridor connecting the east and west sides. This is the belly area of ​​Shaer Xili, and it is also the most beautiful place. Compared with the west and the middle, the east of Shirhiri is like a wild horse running out of the rest, happily chic in the boundless world. Here, you can understand from the bottom of your heart what is meant by "solitary smoke in the desert, sunset in the river".

Precious "natural gene bank"


  In the past 300 years, there has not been any man-made economic and production activities in the Xia Er Xili area. Therefore, the natural resources here are extremely well preserved, and the ecology is basically in a primitive natural state. In the reserve, there are rare orchid plants such as red door orchid and variegated leaf orchid, as well as national key protected plants such as Mongolian astragalus, snow lotus, and Xinjiang comfrey. The meadow vegetation in the high mountains is well developed, and the shaded slopes of the middle and low mountains are forest-steppe belts dominated by Tianshan spruce. The forest area is about 7,200 hectares. The shady slope is a shrub-grass grassland zone, mainly including honeysuckle, cotoneaster, small worm and wormwood. The entire Xiaerxili area is lush with forests and grasses, and the total area covered by vegetation accounts for about 97%.

  In addition, there are more than 40 national key protected wild animals such as snow leopards, brown bears, ibex, saiga antelopes, and argali. There are 1,676 species of higher plants, more than 300 species of terrestrial animals and birds, 221 species of vertebrates, 420 species of insects, and 143 species of macrofungi...Because of its extremely rich biodiversity, Charhiri was once praised by CCTV as China’s "last "The Pure Land" and "Natural Gene Bank".

  Entering Xia Er Xili is like walking through a long gallery, a large area of ​​golden, water red, pure white and deep purple blending, embossing each mountain foothills with a magnificent momentum. When the snow fell, under the blue sky, the world was cleaned by the snowflakes to be more pure. In this beautiful picture, you will be amazed at the beauty that is not like the world!

  Our comprehensive expedition team circled up from the rugged mountain road in the west of Xia Er Xili, at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters, and sailed to the top of the mountain at an altitude of more than 3,100 meters. The convoy, like a snail, slowly climbed up the mountain along the winding and narrow mountain road. The more you drive up, the steeper the mountain road. The road hangs overhead, the bends and steep slopes make the car sway from left to right.


  Different altitudes also gave birth to diverse landforms and landscapes. Here, there are criss-cross streams, beautiful mountains, strange peaks, ups and downs, beautiful scenery, majestic and majestic. When I boarded the Yukeke post on the top of the mountain, I saw misty clouds and mists like jade belts slowly flowing from one mountain to another, and the pipa was half-hidden by the mountain peaks.

  The geomorphological features of Xiaerxili Nature Reserve are mainly manifested as stepped uplifts and the vertical structure of mountainous landforms is distinct. After we set off from Bole, we went through the piedmont plain, low mountain zone, middle mountain zone, subalpine zone, and high mountain zone in turn.

  The topographical conditions of the huge height difference in Xia Er Xili also caused the vertical change of the climate type with the gradual succession of altitude. There is basically no summer in the western part of the reserve, only cold and warm seasons, while the eastern part (Jiangbas area) has four distinct seasons. The western part usually starts to snow in late September, while the eastern part starts to snow in late October.

  The Xiaerxili area in the west has abundant precipitation. There are two lakes in the area, namely Alatau Lake and Nagennur Lake, and the two lakes are the border lakes between China and Kazakhstan.

  When entering the western part of Xia’erxi in the mid-alpine zone, the green spruce, golden warty birch, fiery red rowan, and the willow orchids from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain, from the roadside to the sky, form a whole A vivid and colorful picture of nature.


Snow Ridge Spruce


Couple tree


  Liulan is the main species in the sea of ​​Xiaerxili flowers, which blooms from June to August. In mid-September, after the flower’s defeat, Liulan used its red leaves and red stems to ignite the enthusiasm to form a charming autumn landscape, like a red brocade gently covering the land of Xia’ershili, a small amount still cold and cold. Flowers are interspersed in it.

"Husband and Wife Tree" and "Queen of Flowers"


  In Xia Er Xili in June and July, the greenery is dyed red, the peaks are undulating, the green grass is continuous, and the forest is lush. Because of the prohibition of grazing, there is no herd to trample or eat, and the rain is abundant and the climate is humid. The slopes here are full of grassy oceans, flowers and waves, and a paradise for animals and plants.

  Snow ridge spruce is distributed in shady mountain slopes or valleys between 1600 and 2700 meters above sea level. The green waves, tall and tall spruce, dark green and dense, covering the sky, with the ups and downs of the mountains, the ancient vigorous wind and the The verdant charm whirled among the intertwined knots. Snow ridge spruce often forms pure forests in Xia'erxi, or forms mixed forests with birch and dense leaf poplar. Associated plants include Betula tianshanensis, Populus euphratica, Sorbus, and willow.

  Betula vulgaris is an ancient small-leaved broad-leaved tree species in the temperate zone of Eurasia, which appeared at the end of the Cretaceous period. This tree species is more light-loving, moist-loving, and it grows quickly. It is known as the pioneer tree and is an important water conservation, soil and water conservation and afforestation tree species for Xia Er Xili. Betula vulgaris is widely developed in the middle and lower parts of the central mountain zone and valleys of the reserve, forming a pure forest or mixed with European aspen and dense-leaf poplar to form a broad-leaved forest; or with Xueling spruce to form a coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest.


The strange-looking saiga


Snow mountain grassland


  When the comprehensive inspection team came to the warty birch forest, they found a pair of "husband and wife trees"-two conjoined birch birches 50 cm apart. The height of the tree is 25 meters, and the diameter at breast height is about 20 cm. At a height of 1.5 meters, the two trees are 8 cm thick, and the living horizontal trunks are connected. When I was young, a birch was blown by the wind and put its twig on the trunk of another birch. As time passed, this branch was inserted into each other's body, and the two trees were held firmly by this live branch. The ground is connected together, standing side by side, closely dependent on each other; branches are connected, branches and leaves cover each other; after vicissitudes of life, they depend on each other for life, and there is a tendency to swear to death and never separate!

  The "husband and wife tree" was called "linked branches" in ancient times, which is a special growth phenomenon in the woods. Connecting branches refers to a tree with two branches connected together. People use connecting branches as a metaphor for loyalty to love. The folks call the tree on the left the "husband" and the tree on the right the "wife".

  The mountain forest, composed of snow ridge spruce, birch, and dense-leaf poplar, is the densest vegetation type in the reserve. Small trees include Haloxylon ammodendron, Hawthorn, Tianshan Sorbus, etc.; shrubs include Siberian Juniper, Xinjiang Square Branch Cypress, Eurasian Juniper, Honeysuckle, Spiraea, Spiraea, etc.

  The wild raspberries in the bushes are even more connected. The fruit is slightly smaller than the mulberry, but it is sweet and sour and delicious.

  Nasturtiums and Ranunculus are often the most gorgeous colors, forming an endless sea of ​​flowers, decorating mountain grasslands and forming charming natural scenery.

  Paeonia angustifolia is the "Queen of Flowers", which is very popular among people. In the blooming season, it makes Shirhiri beautifully dressed.

  There are many large-scale fungi in the reserve. When we came here to investigate, more than 10 kilograms of delicious boletus were collected in less than half an hour in the coniferous and broad-leaved forests.

  The creek hidden in the dense weeds, surrounded by the sunrise and sunset, there are always groups of wild animals coming to drink by the creek. Our scientific expedition team found in Xia Er Xili that the largest group of red deer has more than 20 heads! Two red deer rushed down from the mountain and broke directly into the expedition camp. There are also two brown bears, one mother and one cub, less than 50 meters away from the nearest team member.

  Wolf footprints are often found on the snow, and wolf howling can often be heard at night. The expedition team also photographed alert squirrels, fat roe deer, laid-back red deer, domineering wild boars, and brown

  bears that look like only rice grains to their naked eyes... Brown bears are a species endemic to Central Asia. The reserve has good environmental conditions for the survival of brown bears.

  The size of the saiga is similar to that of a goat. Its nose is particularly swollen, towering and curved downwards. Therefore, it is also called a saiga, which is a semi-desert animal. Due to the high price of antelope horns, the hunting is very serious, and many habitats have become pastures or cultivated. As a result, this endangered animal is hard to find in China. Alashankou in the northeastern part of Xia'erxili was historically the traditional distribution area and the place where saiga antelope must pass through. The area of ​​Kazakhstan adjacent to the reserve is a gathering area for saiga antelopes.

  The ibex weighs up to 60 kilograms, and the male horn grows backwards, curved like a scimitar, and can be more than 1 meter long. It is more stalked in the high mountain and rocky section, and descends to the lower Jiangbas area in winter. In the morning and dusk, go to the alpine meadow or grassland to eat, hide in the alpine rocky area during the day...

  Xiaerxili has beautiful scenery, far away from the crowds, and prosperous flora and fauna. It is a pure land of China "hidden in the mountains"!


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