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Caixin

How saving Poyang Lake will alter a complex ecosystem

Project will alter natural waterflow rhythms that many species depend on for survival

Cranes are seen at the Duchang wetland of Poyang Lake in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China. The proposed sluice gate project would affect the cranes' main food, aquatic plants which are very sensitive to changes in water level.    © Reuters

June was the wet season for Poyang Lake, China's largest body of freshwater, located in the southeastern province of Jiangxi. The lakebed near Changlin, a village on the west side of the lake, was covered with water. Giant trees growing near the bank were flooded nearly to treetop. This is the planned site for the construction of a 13 billion yuan ($2 billion) barrier between the lake and the Yangtze River.

On the bank near the channel through which the lake water flows into the Yangtze, a group of silver pheasants strolled idly with their long white tails. Bird watchers clicked their cameras at the protected wild birds.

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