Home > News > Tibet > Human & Nature >

In high Tibet, patrol officers protect wildlife
By:chinadaily.com.cn
update:February 21,2022
Local patrol officers head out to work in Silingtso National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
 
Every morning after breakfast, Tharchen sets out to patrol vast grassland on a motorbike. On the sandy path where the motorcycle passes, a billowing dust cloud forms, and gradually Tharchen's figure disappears.
 
The place where Tharchen patrols is in Shanza county of the Tibet autonomous region and part of the Changthang National Nature Reserve.
 
Tibetan brown bears in Changthang National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet autonomous region [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
 
At 298,000 square kilometers, the reserve is China's biggest. It has become a haven for rare wildlife on the high plateau.
 
Tharchen is one of 42 local patrol officers in Shanza county working to protect wildlife, despite the cold, thin air at high altitude.
 
Some argali wander in the Changthang National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet autonomous region. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
 
Patrolling is vital in the reserve, a stable home to many rare species such as wild yaks, argali, Tibetan antelopes, black-necked cranes, snow leopards and Tibetan wild asses. Tharchen helps protect them from hunters and flu epidemic — from unpredictable damage to the wetlands.
 
With their motorbikes, telescopes and notebooks, patrol officers leave their footprints in every corner of the grassland. Every year, June is the busiest time, as that's when the female Tibetan antelopes give birth.
 
A Tibetan patrol officer takes care of a lost Tibetan antelope lamb in Silingtso National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
"In the summer, our daily work is patrolling and monitoring for six to eight hours — up to 300 kilometers per day," Tharchen was quoted as saying by Tibet Daily.
 
He recalled the unusual rescue of a Tibetan wild ass in 2020 after his team was informed by local herdsmen. The animal was stuck deep in a swamp, but they were able to pull it out with ropes.
 
A patrol officer take care of an injured Tibetan wild ass in Silingtso National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn
 
"Our clothes got wet, and we found ourselves shivering in the freezing cold after the rescue," said the 34-year-old Tharchen.
 
Tibet has seen a steady increase in the number of rare species unique to the region in recent years. Benefiting from their efforts to protect biodiversity, the Tibetan antelope population has grown to more than 200,000 animals from fewer than 70,000 previously. The Tibetan wild ass population has risen to nearly 90,000 from the previous 50,000. And the number of black-necked cranes has grown to more than 8,000 from between 1,000 and 3,000.
 
Patrol officers feed an injured Tibetan antelope in Silingtso National Nature Reserve in Nagchu, Tibet. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

By Palden Nyima and Daqiong in Lhasa
  • In high Tibet, patrol officers protect wildlife
  • Spring Festival celebrated across China
  • Cameras in Lhasa's wildlife survey show diversity

E-mail:editor@tibetol.cn |About Us|Contact Us |Site Maps|
Address:3/F, C Tower, RECREO International Centre, 8 Wangjing East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100102, PRC
Copyright by China Intercontinental Communication Co., Ltd All Rights Reserved.