Nature and wildlife

An immense diversity of flora and fauna are found on the Tibetan plateau, a region that is relatively uncharted and has traditionally been host to a low human population. There are roughly 530 species of birds, 190 species of mammals, 40 species of reptiles, 30 species of amphibians, and 2300 species of insects throughout the plateau. Numerous salt water lakes draw migratory birds from Siberia, including the black-necked crane. Mammals that graze on the open grasslands of this region include gazelles, wild donkeys, wild goats, wild yaks, blue sheep, urials, and ibex. Wolves, foxes, birds of prey such as the lammergeier, griffon, and golden eagle, and numerous species of waterfowl are also found in this region. In addition, the snowy highland regions of southern Tibet house brown bear, red pandas, and the rarely glimpsed snow leopard. Forested areas of lower elevation are home to the black bear, clouded leopard, and terai langur. Some southeastern areas of the plateau are home to wild boar, lynx, jackals, wild dogs, and spotted cats. Lesser panda, the ling yang antelope, wild and bighorn sheep, mountain antelope, musk deer, and mountain lizards also reside in particular regions of the plateau. The Tibetan plateau is home to a number of wildlife reserves, including the Napa Nature Reserve and the Kekexili National Nature Reserve. These exist to protect the special diversity of species on the plateau, many of which are unfortunately endangered. Plant life on the plateau is equally diverse, reflecting the diversity of terrain in this region. Marsh meadows, alpine deserts, grasslands, wetlands, sand dunes, river basins, forested gorges, farming regions, saline lakes, and high mountain slopes give rise to a plethora of variegated flora.


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