China & Tibet - Nature and Wildlife
The Giant Panda is often seen as a symbol of China which is fitting as it is unique to the country. These incredible animals used to inhabit much of southern China’s bamboo forests, however, now their numbers are estimated to be at around 1,200 with about 800 living in the Sichuan province and the rest scattered over Gansu and Shanxi provinces. Due to the threat against the Giant Panda there are more than twelve reserves dedicated to their preservation as well as several breeding centres in Sichuan. One of the best places in China to see the Giant Panda is the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre (it is advisable to visit in the morning when the pandas are more active).
The Siberian Tiger, known locally as the Amur Tiger, is China’s top predator. Over the last hundred years hunting and forest destruction have reduced the overall tiger population significantly. The Chinese government has recognised the need to take action to preserve the Siberian Tiger and so in August 2010 China and Russia agreed to enhance conservation efforts in protected areas. China has also undertaken a series of public awareness campaigns that celebrate the Siberian Tiger.
The Golden Monkey, or Red Snub-Nosed Monkey is an endemic tree-dwelling primate found in the cold mountainous forests of central and southwest China. In China, these primates are considered a national treasure. They are threatened due to rapid deforestation. They are also very selective feeders and as such, any damage to their habitats can have serious impacts on the species. As a result of this, these monkeys are under state protection and international trade is strictly prohibited.
The above animals are merely a small selection of the many animals that call China home. There are also over 1,300 different bird species, 52 of which are endemic to the country as well as various reptile, amphibian and insect species. Along with these animal species are more than 30,000 plant species that are native to China, representing one-eighth of the world’s total plant species. With the climatic diversity found in China, almost every type of plant grows there.
Since 1972 China began establishing environmental protection agencies and was one of the first developing countries to implement a sustainable development strategy. To further conservation goals, protected nature areas have increased from only 34 in 1978 to over 2,500 in 2010. These protected nature reserves now occupy 15.5% of the country.
Within Tibet are approximately 800 species of vertebrates as well as 2,305 insect species. Of these, 125 animals including the Tibetan antelope, the yak and the black-necked crane have been listed as rare species and receive top government protection. While not necessarily recognised for its diverse plant life and ecosystems, there are over 6,400 plant varieties found within Tibet, 40 of which are rare and 1,000 of which are used for herbal medicines.
Perhaps the most well known animal that often serves as a symbol of Tibet is the Yak. These animals are central to the survival of many people in Tibet. They are still used for transportation and their meat and milk are key to many native dishes. There are many nature reserves and protected areas found throughout Tibet and the World Wildlife Fund has established two priority eco-regions - the Tibetan Steppe and the East Himalayas.
China and Tibet Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to China.
Learn about the history and culture of China, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about China's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering China for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our China tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your China tour consider taking the time to visit other destinations. Goway offers exciting India tours and Thailand vacation packages plus a comprehensive selection of vacation packages in many other Asian countries.
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ASIA by Goway is an exclusive division that specializes in planning and organizing China tours, vacations and experiences. Choose from a simple city stopover, see the country highlights on one of our classic itineraries, enjoy a small group tour, a holiday of a lifetime, a stay of distinction and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to China.
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