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Key protected wildlife populations in Changtang Natural Reserve increased significantly

By Zhi Xinghua Source:China Tibet News 2019年08月08日 09:57

In 1993, Changtang Natural Reserve was approved as autonomous regional level nature reserve. In 2000, it was upgraded to national level nature reserve. For more than 20 years, through the tireless efforts of departments at all levels in Tibet, the number of wildlife species under special protection in the natural reserve has increased significantly. The population of Tibetan antelopes has increased from 50,000--70,000 to more than 200,000. The number of wild yaks has also reached 10,000. The number of Tibetan wild donkeys has increased from 30,000 to 90,000. The recovery growth of snow leopards, argalis, black-necked cranes and other wildlife has been obvious.

Making unremitting efforts to strengthen management and protection

With a total area of 298,000 square kilometers, Changtang Natural Reserve covers 7 counties including Amdo, Nyima, Shuanghu, Rutog, Gerze, Gegye, and Gar. It belongs to the plateau desert ecosystem and wildlife type nature reserve, which is currently the largest nature reserve and one of 25 national key ecological function areas in China. However, the natural reserve is also a typical representative area of ecological sensitivity. The ecological environment is extremely fragile. Once destroyed, it is easy to cause large-scale grassland degradation and land desertification, posing a threat to the ecological security of northwest China and even southeast Asia. The scientific protection and rational utilization of Changtang Natural Reserve is of great strategic significance to the protection of the last pure land in the world and the construction of national important ecological security barrier.

Over the past 20 years since the establishment of the Changtang Natural Reserve, through the unremitting efforts of departments at all levels, the infrastructure has been improved, the management and protection forces have been continuously strengthened, the scientific research monitoring level has been gradually improved, and the protection efforts in accordance with the law have been continuously increased. The typical ecosystems in the region, such as alpine deserts and wetlands, have maintained stability, and the vegetation coverage has been increasing, effectively curbing the trend of grassland degradation and land desertification, and playing an important role in maintaining regional ecological security.

During this period, Tibet has studied and deployed the pilot work of management system and mechanism reform of Changtang Natural Reserve, which is one of the tasks of comprehensively deepening the reform of ecological civilization system. The standardized, institutionalized and informationized management level of the natural reserve has been comprehensively improved, providing a replicable and popularizable model for the construction and management of natural reserves in Tibet, accumulating experience in the establishment of the national park system, and achieving the win-win goal of ecological protection and improvement of people's livelihood.

Innovating management system and mechanism to guide herdsmen to protect environment

During the pilot reform, leading groups for coordinating the pilot reform have been set up in Nagqu City and Ngari Prefecture respectively, and management institutions have been set up separately to enrich the personnel strength. At the same time, management stations, supporting transportation, monitoring and other facilities and equipment have been constructed, and professional management and nursing staff of farmers and herdsmen have been employed. Besides, armed forest police, forest public security instructors and management experts of the natural reserve have been invited to conduct militarized training and management knowledge training.

The pilot reform has achieved remarkable results. Through the innovation of the management system and mechanism, the management has changed from loose management to strict management, and from open management to closed management; professional management and nursing staff has changed from ordinary herdsmen to ecological guards.

Changtang Natural Reserve has received the strictest protection in history. The ecosystem has maintained stability, the number of wildlife populations under special protection has increased, and the protection of regional ecological environment has achieved remarkable results.

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