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WILD TIBETAN FLOWERS,
CUTE TIBETAN MARMOTS
ALPINE TO SUB-TROPICAL
PLEASE DON'T PICK THE
immense differences in altitude in Tibet create a spread of
ecosystems from alpine to subtropical. Tibet
has 6,400 speicies of plants including 40 species considered
rare. It has over 1,000 plants and flowers used for
Juniper trees and willow are common in the valleys of
central Tibet and it is likely you will spot flowers like
the pansy and oleander. The lovely indigenous flowers like
the tsi-tog (a light pink, high altitude bloom) are a
magnificent find. Apple, peach, pear, and apricot trees are
cultivated in the river valleys.
Vegetation on the Northern Plateau is extremely sparse,
consisting for the most part of grasses and shrubs.
At lower altitude in the south, there are vast and glorious
forests of pines, firs and spruces.
The flora of Tibet is concentrated in the valleys on the Brahmaputra, Indus, and Sutlej.
The eastern part of Tibet has greater rainfall giving it an
amazing range of flora from coniferous forests to deciduous
forests, with oaks, elms and birches to subtropical plants
Himalayan Mountain Range
The mountain slopes of Tibet house dozens of plants and
flowers. On the south slope of Middle Himalayas and
southeast Tibet, the abundance centre of Tibetan flower
plants extends from 3500 meters in altitude to the alpine
zone. Many varieties of magnificent and colorful flowers
ornament the meadows, thickets and dark coniferous forests.
blossoms of Prunus mira annually cover the south-eastern
plateau an third-dimensional color, often short-lived and
blanketed by spring snows. Afterward you can see the
rhododendrons of sub-alpine forests and alpine thickets. Due
to the density of ultra violet rays, the colors at higher
elevations are often those deep violet, purple, yellow and
orange that can only be found closer to the sun.
Tibetan Wild Flowers
The typical species include; Primula cawdoriana,
Sinoplantagines var. fengxiangiana, Cyananthus lobatus,
Saxifraga spp., Polygonum griffithii; Meconopsis horridula
var. racemosa, M. Integrifolia, Pedicularis bella and
distribution of Tibetís wild flowers is quite extensive.
Over 5000+ senior plants, 39 of which have been listed as
natural plants under state key protection grow in Tibetan
areas. When you see Incarvillea and Iris on the barren
slopes, the multi-colored rhododendrons in the forest or on
a mountainous incline, or the beautiful orchids-epiphytic or
terrestrial, you will be surprised by the powerful
persistence of nature.
Not surprisingly, the wild flowers of Tibet grow in very
on the extreme weather and air at high elevation such as low
temperature, strong wind and high radiation, the plants
contract their morphology of shortening, creeping, cushion,
needle shape, wild stem or hairiness.
Tibetan Plants and Herbal Medicine
Some of Tibetís unique wild flowers are used for
concoctions. Tibetans have been using this flora for
thousands of years to cure all form of diseases and
The Tibetan region claims 798
species of vertebrates and 2,305 species of insects.
Panda was found in what used to be Tibetan ranges. Over 125
animals in Tibet are on the list of rare species under
government protection. They include Tibetan antelope, yak,
snow chicken and black-neck crane. Musk deer, wild sheep,
wild goat, wild ass, yak, and Tibetan antelope are common in
mountainous areas. Other large mammals found are the
leopard, tiger, several kinds of bear, wolf, fox, and
are often seen perched up on their hind legs sniffing the
air curiously outside their burrows. Pika, or Himalayan
mouse hares are common. Sit by the side of the road quietly
and you will see them running about.
Tibet has over 30 endemic birds and 480 species have been
recorded in the plateau.
include the black necked crane, bar headed goose and
lammergeyer as well as grebes, pheasants, snao cocks,
partridges. bar-headed goose, gull, teal, and other species
of waterfowl, as well as pheasant and sand grouse. Several
rare and endangered species may become extinct at the
current rate of deforestation in Tibetan areas. For example,
the Himalayan mountain quail, Ophrysia superciliosa, the
highest dwelling bird disappeared in 1868. This bird fed on
grasses, insects and berries. Why did it die out?
Hunting and poaching of wildlife for commercial gain is a
principle threat to the survival of various wildlife species
in Tibet. Stand up and be counted if you witness such
unthinking behavior. Express your views. Rare animal skins
and other parts such as deer antlers, Tibetan gazelle head,
and even leopard skins are sold openly in the market such as
in Labrang, Amdo (Qinghai). Without any environmental
education or legal penalties imposed on these hunters, they
won't stop until all the animals are gone.
Some people in Tibet use
dynamites in rivers and lakes to catch fish, apparently
oblivious to the eco-damage. Such activities not only kill
the fishes in a way that makes many uneatable, but also
poisons the whole aquatic eco-system.
In this country where the
per capita income is $30 US it is hard for some people to
resist the temptation of selling rare animal parts for cold
cash. A snow leopard coat can fetch $20,000 US in the black
We have to ask what sort of human beings would support the
killing and extinction of these magnificent animals. Tibetan
Buddhism teaches not even to kill a worm because it could be
your mother or a relative. Sadly, deer antlers, musk, tiger
and leopard bones and other parts of animals are often used
in traditional Chinese medicine. Is money and stuff
important enough to rob the earth anf future generations of
the benefits these animals offer the ecosystem? The
endangered species of Tibet, such as snow leopard, giant
panda, black-necked crane, and wild yak should NEVER be
Wild Yaks on Decline Yaks look like very hairy steers, but they are actually
in the ox family.
The horns grow
up to 20 inches long in females, and 40 inches in males.
come in an assortment of colors from black to brown to white
with black spots to the fabled golden color. The male yaks
can weigh 2000 pounds or better while the females are
usually around 800 pounds or more when carrying a calf.
detail on wild yaks.
Sadly, in Northwestern
Qinghai Province less than 10,000 wild yaks can be found now
in nonwestern Qinghai province as human activities have
increasingly been disturbing their habitats, according to
the outcome of a 2003 survey. Tibetan Wild Yaks are on the
endangered species list.
more about conservation from Saving Wild Places.
The survey by the Provincial
Wildlife and Nature Reserve Management Bureau noted that
compared with the early 1960s, the number of yaks on Qinghai
plateau has reduced by half and most of them now live in the
prefectures of Yushu, Golog and Haixi in the central-south,
southeastern and western Qinghai province.
The wonderful scene of
hundreds of wild yaks galloping together no longer exists.
Now only a dozen can occasionally be found haunting very
remote areas. The habitats for yaks in Qinghai scatter
mainly on the upper reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River
which is 4,000-5,000 above sea level, and the
1.4-million-sq-km cold desert hemmed in by Kunlun, A'erjin
and Qilian Mountain ranges
These days, however, solely
in Wild Yak Ravine around Golmud city, in northwestern
Qinghai, can local people sometimes spot the wild yaks in
large numbers. 2009 news includes Golmud wild yaks dying in
numbers unseen before. Come see the WILD wild yaks before
they are no longer accessible.
Taxonomy of yaks.
The International Yak
This association exists for the purpose of advancing
awareness of the Yak and for benefiting its members through
education and communication. Check out their fun fairs and
bovine events! As Yaks are still quite rare on a national
scale, we rely on our members to come together with their
experiences and knowledge so that we may continue to learn
about this multi-faceted bovine. Located in the USA.
The Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds. It is
found in a heavier mastiff type and a more moderately sized
mountain type. With its thick, wide mane it is often
described as a lion dog. Its double coat is long and often
fluffy, and it is found in a wide variety of colors from
solid black to tri-color with the rarest being white. It has
a sturdy bone structure and large, wide head.
can sometimes reach heights up to 31+ inches (80+cm) at the
withers, although the normal for the breed is typically in
the 25 to 28 inch (61 to 72 cm) range. You will see these
dogs in many villages in Tibetan areas. They are usually
tied up as they are used mainly as guard dogs. Until
recently no Tibetan would ever consider selling his Mastiff,
as their dogs are considered a member of their family.
However demand and the holy dollar has tempted even the
nomads. DO NOT approach dogs in Tibet or China as rabies is
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