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Chinese 九段沙
Literal meaning 9-part sands[1]
Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve
Simplified Chinese 九段沙湿地自然保护区
Traditional Chinese 九段沙濕地自然保護區
Chinese 上沙
Literal meaning Upper [Jiuduan]sha
Chinese 中沙
Literal meaning Middle [Jiuduan]sha
Chinese 下沙
Literal meaning Lower [Jiuduan]sha
Simplified Chinese 江亚南沙
Traditional Chinese 江亞南沙
Literal meaning Kiangya South [Jiuduan]sha

Jiuduansha is a collection of four intertidal wetland shoals at the mouth of China's Yangtze River. They are administered as an island region of the municipality of Shanghai's Pudong New Area.

These shoals and the submerged land surrounding them to a depth of 6 meters (20 ft) form the Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve.[2] The entire area stretches roughly 46.3 kilometers (28.8 mi) east to west and 25.9 kilometers (16.1 mi) north to south, covering an area of 423.5 square kilometers (163.5 sq mi),[2] although only 114.6 square kilometers (44.2 sq mi) of this is above sea level.[3] The area is considered one of the national urban wetland parks of China and forms part of the China Biosphere Reserve Network. A 1996 field study found that, for seven bird species investigated, the number present at Jiuduansha exceeded 1% of the world's total for the species, establishing it as a Wetland of International Importance.[4]


Although Jiuduansha literally translates as "Nine-Part Sands", the number nine is here being used in a colloquial way similar to English several.[5] In fact, the group consists of four main shoals. These are sometimes given their Mandarin names of Shangsha, Zhongsha, Xiasha, and Jiangyanansha[6] and sometimes translated as Upper, Middle, Lower, and South Jiuduansha.[2] South Jiuduansha is known as Jiangya Nansha in Chinese after the pinyin romanization of the SS Kiangya, the passenger steamer which exploded nearby (probably owing to a mine from the Second World War or the Chinese Civil War) in 1948.


Jiuduansha originally formed part of the Waitongsha shoal, but frequent floods of the Yangtze in 1949 and 1954 connected a series of troughs and separated Jiuduansha from the Tongsha shoal.[2] Shanghai's universities have studied Jiuduansha since the 1990s and, in 1995, introduced cordgrass in order to speed the shoal's stabilization,[7] particularly in light of roughly 70% reduction in sedimentation caused by the many dams erected along the course of the Yangtze during the 20th century.[8] In March 2000[5] or 2003,[9] the Shanghai municipal government established the nature reserve. The cordgrass and environmental protection were intended to accommodate birds then living at the site being developed as Pudong International Airport.[5] From October 2002 to January 2003, Fudan University and the reserve's administration conducted four joint surveys[2] and, in 2005, the wetland was upgraded to a national nature reserve.[5] In the time since its introduction, the cordgrass has been found to have become invasive,[5] aggressively crowding out the native reeds and bulrushes[7][8] and degrading parts of the wetlands.[5] A wetland museum, as well as a Science Popularization Park on about 5 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi) of the island, are planned to increase public awareness and support.[5]


Jiuduansha is the spawning ground for the hairy crab, one of the most important products of the Chinese fishing industry[10] and a delicacy of the cuisine of Shanghai and eastern China.[11][12] The shoals also host large communities of Cipango and Siberian prawn and swimming crabs.[10] They are known to host 5 protected species of fish[13] and 14 protected species of birds, including the black-faced spoonbill.[4] All 14 observed species of aquatic mammals are protected and Jiuduansha is thought to be the most important habitat in China for the finless porpoise, the bottlenose dolphin, and the spotted seal.[14]


  1. ^ But here using the number nine in its colloquial Chinese sense of "some" or "several".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Overview". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.
  3. ^ Li Bo. "Ecosystem Ecology Study on Jiuduansha Island—A Site Description". US–China Carbon Consortium.
  4. ^ a b "Birds Archived 2015-01-09 at the Wayback Machine.". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Fourth Island Wetland Emerging", pp. 1–2. Shanghai Daily. 8 Dec 2009. Hosted at China.org.
  6. ^ "Introduction Archived 2015-01-08 at the Wayback Machine.". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.
  7. ^ a b Pratolongo, Paula & al. "Temperate Coastal Wetlands: Morphology, Sediment Processes, and Plant Communities" in Coastal Wetlands: An Integrated Ecosystem Approach, p. 105. Elsevier (Amsterdam), 2009.
  8. ^ a b Scott, David B. Coastal Wetlands of the World: Geology, Ecology, Distribution, and Applications, pp. 229 f. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2014.
  9. ^ Fu Jing & al. "Ecotourism and Environmental Intrepretation Planning in Jiuduansha Wetland National Nature Reserve, Shanghai". Shanghai Normal University (Shanghai). Hosted at Academia.edu.
  10. ^ a b "Zoobenthos". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.
  11. ^ Dennis McMahon (28 November 2008). "The Dish: Hairy Crab". Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ Dunlop, Fuchsia. "The Chinese delicacy of hairy crabs". BBC News Magazine (London), 15 December 2012. Accessed 19 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Fish". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.
  14. ^ "Mammals". The Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland Nature Reserve (Shanghai), 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°10′N 121°55.5′E / 31.167°N 121.9250°E / 31.167; 121.9250 (Jiuduansha Island)