Welcome to Wild Beijing

Welcome to Wild Beijing, a website dedicated to celebrating the wildlife of China’s capital city.  It is often a surprise, even to Beijingers, that more than 500 species of bird have been recorded in the Municipality, making Beijing one of the best birding capital cities in the world, ranking second among G20 capital cities in terms of number of species recorded.  With world-class wetlands such as Miyun Reservoir and Wild Duck Lake (Yeyahu), wooded mountains, grassland and a surfeit of parks, Beijing provides excellent birding all year round.  However, it is spring and autumn when the capital experiences the spectacle of migration on a staggering scale and it is at these times that exciting birds can be found even in the tiniest of green spaces in the city centre.  It’s not only birds that make Beijing a good place to see wildlife; China’s capital city is also one of the few major capital cities to hosts wild cats – the shy Amur Leopard Cat can be found in the mountains and wetlands of Beijing – as well as a range of other special wildlife, including more than 170 species of butterfly and more than 60 species of dragonfly and damselfly (more than the whole of the UK!).

This website aims to provide residents and visitors alike with as much information as possible to help maximise their birding and wildlife experience in Beijing.  As well as the regularly updated blog, there are pages about the latest sightings, the best sites and what can be seen there, as well as information about some of northeast China’s most endangered birds.  There are now dedicated pages about Beijing’s amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, mammals and reptiles. 

Conservation is a priority for Wild Beijing and, in partnership with the China Birdwatching Society, BirdLife International, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Oriental Bird Club, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership, the Zoological Society of London and others, Wild Beijing works to help save some of China’s rarest birds from extinction, including Jankowski’s Bunting and Baer’s Pochard. Wild Beijing is privileged to work with ShanShui Conservation Center at Peking University, including to set up China’s first community-based wildlife-watching tourism project in a  National Park – the award-winning “Valley of the Cats” project on the Tibetan Plateau – supporting local incomes and Snow Leopard conservation.  

Since 2019, Wild Beijing has been working with the Beijing Municipal government to develop ideas to make the city better for wildlife, including a “Blueprint for Biodiversity”.

All information on this site is provided for free.  If you make use of the resources, please consider making a donation, via JustGiving, to BirdLife International or, if you have WeChat and can read Chinese, to ShanShui Conservation Center via this link to support this conservation work

Wild Beijing is indebted to the many local and foreign birders and wildlife enthusiasts who have contributed a great deal to the content found on this site.  My sincere gratitude goes to them all.

Thank you and I wish you great wildlife watching!

Terry  Townshend, Beijing


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