Tibet’s biodiversity continues to recover: more than 200,000 Tibetan antelopes in the region

On March 27th, the Chinese State Council Information Office published a white paper document titled “Democratic Reform in Tibet — Sixty Years On”, which reported that Tibet’s biodiversity has been recovering continuously. In the Tibet region, the forest coverage rate has reached 12.14%, the Tibetan antelope population has increased from 60,000 in the 1990s to 200,000 at present, and the Tibetan wild donkey population has grown from 50,000 to more than 80,000.

According to the white paper, since the establishment of the first Qomolangma Nature Reserve in 1988 (Qomolangma is Tibetan for “Mount Everest”), Tibet has established 47 various nature reserves. The total reserve area has reached 412,200 square kilometers, accounting for more than 34.35% of the total land area of China. Meanwhile, there are also 22 eco-protection areas, 36 counties receiving government transfer payments for their essential ecological roles, four national scenic areas, nine national forest parks, 22 national wetland parks, and three national geoparks.

The Chinese government continues to increase the eco-compensation for Tibet’s expenses for preserving the eco-environment and the consequent losses of development opportunities. Since 2001, the amount of compensation for various ecological benefits such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and key ecological reserves has reached 31.6 billion yuan (approximately 4.7 billion USD).

Tibetan antelopes @Xinhuanet

The white paper claims that at present, the forest coverage rate in Tibet is 12.14%, with an area of 16.02 million hectares (including forest land, shrubbery land, and other forest lands) and a forest stock volume of 2.28 billion cubic meters. The comprehensive vegetation coverage of natural grassland is currently 45.9 percent, the area of natural grassland is 88.93 million ha, and the area of wetland is 6.53 million ha.

The Tibet autonomous region is home to 141 wild animal species protected at the national or regional level and 38 wild plant species protected at the national level. The region also supports plenty of endemic species found nowhere else in the world. There are 196 unique animal species, 855 unique plant species, and 22 unique bird species. Tibet’s ecosystem has been excellently preserved, the white paper said. Specifically, the number of black-necked cranes has grown from 3,000 to 8,000, and wild yaks from 7,000 to 10,000.

Currently, all the major rivers and lakes in Tibet remain in their natural state, and 95.7% of key waters have reached the national water standards. In terms of air quality, 97.5% of days are rated as “excellent” or “good”, and ratings of air quality in the Qomolangma region are being maintained at either “excellent” or “good”.

All information comes from https://mp.weixin.qq.com/

Translated by Andrea Jia

Edited by Andrea Jia and Riley Peng @ Animal Dialogue

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