JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 1990, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (4): 343-353.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.1990.04.007

• Special Column:Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of IGSNRR, CAS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

ON THE STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF THE WILD ANIMAL RESOURCES IN THE KARKORUM-KUNLUN MOUNTAINS REGION, CHINA

Feng Zuojian   

  1. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Online:1990-12-25 Published:1990-12-25

Abstract: The author conducted two surveys of the wild animals in the region under consideration in the years 1987 and 1988. This paper presents scientific results obtained in order to afford some information on the status of the wild animal resources.Altogether, 21 species of wild animal resources are found in this region, belonging to 5 orders, 10 families and 18 genera. A list of these species with their geographical distribution is given in Table 1.Zoogeographically, in regard to the characteristics of the distribution of the wild animal resources in the region, we may take note of the following three facts.1.In the western parts of the Karakorum and western Kunlun mountains, the components of the wild animal resources mainly belong to the Central Asian pattern, .such as Snow leopart Panthera unica, Goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa, Ibex Capra ibex, Argali sheep Ovis arn-mon, Longtailed marmot Marmota caudata, etc., while the remaining belong to the Northern Eurasian species or the widely distributed species, such as Red fox Vulpes vulpes, Stone marten Maries foina and Cape hare Lepus capensis.2.In the region from the above-mentioned areas eastward to eastern Kunlun mountains (including their branches-Altyn Shan and Qimantag Shan), the endemic species of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau are comparatively common and the large ungulates are especially dominant. The representative species are Tibetan wild ass Asinus kiang, Wild yak Poephagus mutus and Tibetan antelope Pamholops hodgsoni. Besides, Himalayan marmot Marmota himalayana, High-land hare Lepus oiostolus and Tibetan fox Vulpes fcrrilata are also observed, and they have respectively replaced Marmota catidata, Lepus capensis and Vulpes vulpes in the above-mentioned region according to the data of geographical distribution.3.In the east part of the western Kunlun mountains, the elevation of the southern slopes (southern wing) fluctuates between 4900-5100m with numerous lakes and lacustrine flats on the expansive plateau. The natural landscope of the northern slopes (northern wing) differs greatly from that of the southern slopes. Thus, Tibetan wild ass, Wild yak and Tibetan antelope find their excellant habitats on the south slopes. Here they live in quite good conditions and their population is generally large. For example, we have counted more than 200 Wild yaks and over 600 Tibetan antelopes. By contrast, only about 50 Will yaks and less than 10 Tibetan antelopes have been observed on the northern slopes, and they apparently survive in small numbers.In addition, Ibex Capra ibex is only found in the western and northern parts of the Tax-korgan Reserve which is situated in the southwest corner of Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region, which Blue sheep Pseudois nayaur occurs in the eastern and southeastern parts of it (Sch-aller et al., 1987). Because these two species are similar in the author considers that the ecological separation may be able to reduce the competition pressure for food, and that it may be favourable to them in the struggle for existence in nature.Finally, some existing problems of wildlife management in the region are presented. Also some suggestions for scientific conservation and exploitation of the wild animal resources are discussed.

Key words: Karakorum-Kunlun mountains, wild animal resources