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  • Gordon Dumoulin

The 'Roof the World' Serengeti

High on the Tibetan Plateau, Sanjiangyuan (三江源) National Park covers an area approximately the size of England in the south of Qinghai province. The topography of this vast, untamed region is mind-bogglingly diverse, ranging from alpine mountains to high-altitude wetlands, lakes and grassland.

The Chinese name for the park refers to the headwaters of three major rivers – the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong – all of which originate here. These waterways provide freshwater to a billion people across Asia, as well as the ecosystems upon which the region’s non-human residents rely.

Sanjiangyuan is the largest national park of a 10 pilot parks plan, which began in 2015, covering 2.3% of China’s land area. Originally set for completion in 2020, pandemic delays have pushed back the opening of the 10 parks to later this year. The pilot plan is part of an ambitious scheme to create an immense network of parks across China by 2030, with the primary objective to protect the country’s iconic, and in many cases endangered, species.

According to the Paulson Institute (a think-tank that worked alongside the Chinese government on the pilot parks project), the Tibetan Plateau is second only to Africa in terms of the diversity of its terrestrial megafauna. This cast of characters makes for impressive reading. Brown bears and gray wolves, Tibetan foxes and the Eurasian lynx. Wild yak, Tibetan antelope; plateau pika and argali, the world’s largest living sheep. And naturally the resident who reigns supreme in the human imagination; the snow leopard.

This is the largest uninterrupted snow leopard habitat anywhere in the world. The national park is home to 270 species of wild animals, of which 69 are under key state protection.

Excited to witness of this positive ambition in coming decade

This post is an extract from “Sanjiangyuan: China’s Largest National Park” by Wild China, read complete article here :

#china #chinesenature #chinesesociety

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