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14:28 Nov 28 2009

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Maduo Prairie on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau returns to green
14:21, November 28, 2009  

Pointing at the mesh-like sand barrier made of man-made forages such as dahurian wildrye and siberian wildrye on the Maduo Prairie, Zhao Wenjun, director of the Maduo County Sanjiangyuan Office said after years of unremitting efforts in ecological protection and project construction, no more migratory dunes have invaded grasslands and roads.

The vegetation in the county also increased, he added.

Maduo means the "source of the Yellow River" in the Tibetan language and there used to be about 4,000 lakes. Known as the "thousand-lake county at the source of the Yellow River," Maduo County is the core area of the Sangjiangyuan Nature Reserve on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

However, as they are located at an average altitude of 4,200 m to 4,800 m and the natural conditions are harsh, the vegetation is quite venerable.

In recent years, with the acceleration in global warming and more human activities in the area, the quality of grass deteriorated yearly. Rat numbers have also grown and the area of black earth has increased anlong with desertification.

To curb the deterioration of the ecology of the prairie, the project to protect the ecology of Sanjiangyuan was launched.

The government of Maduo County initiated a series of projects in 2003 to restore the ecology including returning grazing land to grassland, controlling and warding off rats, reducing the numbers of livestock and banning grazing in certain areas.

To date, grassland covering an area of 10.81 million mu (720,666.7 ha) has protected by reducing grazing and thus taken off the pressure on the environment.

As a result, some of the vegetation in the region has been restored and the environment improved. In 2003, one mu (0.07 ha) of grassland produced 30 kg of grass on average. By 2008 the same area of land produced 45 kg of grass.

Source: Qinghai Daily

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