But tourists and birdwatchers are not the only ones drawn to the region. Armed bird poachers seeking to catch the protected cranes are prevalent.
Thankfully, the birds have a guardian. Li Chunru, 72, makes daily patrols of the area lakes, taking as many injured birds he can find to a rescue center he runs near his home.
To date he has treated more than 50,000 birds, recording each case meticulously.
A retired doctor, Li also performs surgery on injured birds, many of which are brought to him by farmers and fishermen.
The job is not only tiring, but also dangerous. "I've been stabbed in the thigh and left cheek trying to stop poachers on the banks," said Li.
Li's dedication has gained attention in recent years. But despite donations and official funding, he still needs help. "If this was about profits, no one would be here protecting the birds," said Li.
This article originally appeared on the Global Times website