A wild yak survey in Changtang of Tibet Autonomous Region and Hoh Xil of Qinghai Province

HU Yiming 1,2,3 LI Weiqi 2,3 JIANG Zhigang 2,3 LIU Wulin 4 LIANG Jianchao 1 LIN Yizhou 5 HUANG Zhiwen 1 QIN Haihua 1 JIN Kun 6 HU Huijian 1

(1.Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Guangdong Public Laboratory of Wild Animal Conservation and Utilization, Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resources, Guangzhou 510260)
(2.Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101)
(3.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049)
(4.Forestry Inventory and Planning Institute of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa 850000)
(5.Guangzhou Yilin Ecological Monitoring Limited Company, Guangzhou 510075)
(6.Research Institute of Forest Ecology Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091)

【Abstract】The wild yak (Bos grunniens), which is endemic to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, mainly distributed in Changtang region of Tibet, Hoh Xil and Sanjiangyuan regions of Qinghai and Altun Mountains of Xinjiang. In this study, we used field data and data from the published literatures to estimate the population of wild yaks as well as their distribution in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the adjacent areas in China. Field surveys were conducted in Changtang of Tibet, Hoh Xil of Qinghai between 2012 and 2014. According to our field survey, there were 11,222–21,072 wild yaks in Changtang of Tibet, and 659–1,793 in Hoh Xil of Qinghai. Although our results indicate that the population of wild yak has increased since 1990s and the distribution area of wild yak is shrinking. With the changing of the global climate and the intensifying of human activities on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, actions should be strengthened to protect the endemic species in this area.

【Keywords】 Bos grunniens; Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; population; distribution; conservation;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (31400361) Special Program for Key Basic Research of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China (2013FY110300) Special Project for Biodiversity of Ministry of Environmental Protection Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2013B061800042)

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(Translated by ZHAO B)


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This Article



Vol 26, No. 02, Pages 185-190

February 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Overview of the study area and research methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • Supplementary material
  • References