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'Water tower' sees increased biodiversity

China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-27 09:09
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XINING — Qinghai province is becoming an increasingly welcoming habitat for wildlife thanks to multiple conservation measures in recent years.

Dubbed "the water tower of China," Qinghai is home to the Sanjiangyuan area where the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong rivers originate. With an abundance of animal species, the province has been enhancing wildlife protection by establishing wildlife parks, botanical gardens, and wildlife rescue and breeding centers.

In the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Wildlife Park, there are more than 1,200 wild animals belonging to 108 species, including 97 members of 16 species under the first level of State protection and 210 members of 30 species under the second level of State protection.

At a wildlife rescue and breeding center in Qilian Mountain National Park, staffers are busy feeding wild animals such as desert cats. The center, which started operation in July, has received 34 abandoned or injured wild animals, among which seven have since been successfully released.

In the last decade, Qinghai has rescued more than 1,000 injured or trapped wild animals belonging to 50 species and preserved 1,235 samples of forest germ plasm resources.

As the largest inland lake in China, the environmental improvements to Qinghai Lake have made it a major breeding ground that now attracts 232 species of migratory birds.

The province has also been promoting the creation of a national park for biodiversity conservation.

Sanjiangyuan National Park began trial operation in 2016, and last October received its official designation. Years of efforts to improve wildlife habitats and conserve ecosystems have led to an increase in the population of wild animals.

The latest report released by Sanjiangyuan National Park shows that the population of Tibetan antelopes in Hoh Xil in the hinterlands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has recovered from less than 20,000 in the 1990s to more than 70,000.

Currently, the total area of nature reserves in Qinghai stands at 267,500 square km, accounting for 38.4 percent of the province's land area.

"We will continue to protect biodiversity in forests and grasslands and strive to make new breakthroughs," said Feng Yongsheng, deputy director of the national park and nature reserve management bureau of the provincial forestry and grassland administration.


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