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15:01 Dec 31 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Sanjiangyuan: Gene bank of rare species
10:04, December 31, 2009  

Talking about the biological diversity in the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve on the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Zhang Dehai, deputy director of the reserve's Administratoon, cannot hold back his excitement.


A little macaque plays on a tree. Living in Sanjiangyuan area are 85 species of mammals, 237 species of birds and 16 species of amphibious reptiles, with 69 species under national priority protection, such as wild yaks, snow lions and macaques. (Xinhua Photo)


Miles away from his office, Tibetan antelopes are running on the snow-covered grassland, white-lipped deer are in search of food in cols, and gold theragran (a rare herbal species) is ready to greet the spring's dew after a long winter.

"This is diversified species in Sanjiangyuan, abundant, colorful and mysterious," Zhang says.

For most people, the reserve is renowned as it is the headwater of the three major rivers, namely, the Yangtze, the Yellow and the Lancang. Even so, they still regard it as a pronoun referring to extreme coldness, oxygen shortage and barrens.

But Zhang notes that a vigorous life is contained in the harsh natural environment of this area with its biological diversity unrivalled in the world.

Floristic species in Sanjiangyuan area makes up eight percent of the nation's total


Floristic species in Sanjiangyuan area makes up eight percent of the nation's total. (Photo Source: CCTV.com)


"As China's largest nature reserve, the 300,000-sq-km reserve covers 17 cities and counties, or 43.88 percent of the whole landmass of Qinghai Province. Lying at an altitude of 4,000 m, it is also the home to the world's highest wetlands," Zhang said, adding: "It is exactly a natural paradise for wild animals."

Living there are 85 species of mammals, 237 species of birds and 16 species of amphibious reptiles, with 69 species under national priority protection, such as wild yaks, snow lions and macaques.

"Sanjiangyuan is really a kingdom of wild vegetations as well."

It has 2,238 species of vascular plants and 1,000 Chinese medicinal plants. About 40 species of endangered vegetations are protected by China's government and the International Trade Conventions. Precious wild plants including Chinese caterpillar fungus, redflower meconopsis and Tanggula rhodiola can be seen everywhere in this area.

"The area's unique geographic position and landform are vital to the habitat and gene diversification for plateau species and to various types of landscape."
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