This Mysterious Plateau Lake Is Home to the Rare Black-Necked Crane

Like a Chinese ink painting. (Photo:
Like a Chinese ink painting. (Photo:

In 2008, a Chinese photographer shared photos online of an unknown lake on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, and named it Nian Lake.

The natural beauty of the area amazed many people, and the lake slowly became better known. Like its neighbor Shangri-la, it is another mysterious place to be explored in southwest China.

Sunrise at the plateau lake. (Photo:

Sunrise. (Photo:

Nian Lake is located in the black-necked crane nature reserve at the junction of Qujing and Zhaotong in Yunnan Province.

It has a unique view of the plateau with crystal-blue skies, red earth, hundreds of birds, and ancient villages.

Around the end or beginning of each year, a large number of black-necked cranes, and bald wild geese fly here to spend the winter.

Flying cranes in the morning fog. (Photo:

Cranes flying in the morning mist. (Photo:

The obscure beauty. (Photo:

Obscure beauty. (Photo:

Winter. (Photo:

Winter. (Photo:

The black-necked crane is endemic to China, and is the world’s only crane living in a plateau region. It is also called the the “plateau fairy.”

Currently, there are only about 8,000 black-necked cranes in the whole world, and more than 95% live in China.

Crane's paradise. (Photo:

Crane paradise. (Photo:

An elegant dancer on the water. (Photo:

An elegant water dancer. (Photo:

Double. (Photo:

Double. (Photo:

Plateau fairy. (Photo:

Plateau fairy. (Photo:

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