Natural crevices, caves and thick vegetation on the mountainous southern hill
of Dazhou Island provide a paradise for esculent swifts in Hainan.
Dazhou Island (大洲岛) is a State-level natural reserve for esculent swifts and preservation of an island and marine ecological system. Located in the southeast of Wanning County, the island is composed of two parts: the southern hill covering 270 hectares and rising to an elevation of 289 meters, and the smaller northern hill covering 150 hectares and 136 meters high. Natural crevices, caves and thick vegetation on the mountainous southern hill all provide a paradise for esculent swifts.

The whole island is full of stone peaks and caves. Sea water pours into the caves and creates big waves. Venturing into caves, one can enjoy the island’s special fauna and flora.

There is a cave called "Nanluo" which is about 200 meters high. Its entrance is wide in the bottom and narrow on top. Crowds of esculent swifts build nests together in the narrow and dark crevices. The nest is made by the swift’s saliva with other materials. It is transparent, nutritious and highly resilient and is honored as an oriental famous medicine.

Dazhou Island is the only marine island where esculent swifts dwell every year. However, the numbers have been dropping sharply in the past few years and now there are less than 30. Therefore, the ecological system of the island is very fragile and needs protection.

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