Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2002, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (2): 135-143.

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Biodiversity and conservation in the Tibetan Plateau

ZHANG Bai-ping, CHEN Xiao-dong, LI Bao-lin, YAO Yong-hui   

  1. The State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2001-11-19 Revised:2002-02-06 Online:2002-06-25 Published:2002-06-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 49871007; The Knowledge Innovation Project of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No. CX10G-D00-09


The Tibetan Plateau (Qinghai-Xizang Plateau) is a unique biogeographic region in the world, where various landscapes, altitudinal belts, alpine ecosystems, and endangered and endemic species have been developed. A total of 26 altitudinal belts, 28 spectra of altitudinal belts, 12,000 species of vascular plant, 5,000 species of epiphytes, 210 species of mammals, and 532 species of birds have been recorded. The plateau is also one of the centers of species formation and differentiation in the world. To protect the biodiversity of the plateau, about 80 nature reserves have been designated, of which 45 are national or provincial, covering about 22% of the plateau area. Most of the nature reserves are distributed in the southeastern plateau. Recently, the Chinese government has initiated the “Natural Forests Protection Project of China,” mainly in the upper reaches of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers. “No logging” policies have been made and implemented for these areas.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, biodiversity, nature reserve, endangered species

CLC Number: 

  • Q16