He Yubang, head of the Qinghai Lake national nature reserve’s administration, gave an interview to Chinese and foreign media on August 12. He said that ecological environment has improved in the area, with biodiversity rapidly restored, according to Protection and Utilization Administration in the Qinghai Lake Scenic Area.
Located in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Qinghai Lake is key to maintaining the ecological balance in western China. It is also a natural barrier for controlling the eastward spread of desertification and ensuring the safety of agricultural areas in eastern China.
The carp species, Gymnocypris przewalskii, known as “Huangyu” in Chinese, is endemic to the Qinghai Lake. The fish is not only critical to the existence of local bird species, but also significant to the ecological balance of the highland lake.
Owing to overfishing and environmental deterioration, the population of naked carp declined sharply in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2002, Qinghai Lake only had 2,592 tonnes of naked carp.
In order to protect the species, authorities in Qinghai banned naked carp fishing in the Qinghai Lake and in nearby rivers in 2003. The effort has paid off. Monitoring data showed that the Qinghai Lake had 108,500 tonnes of naked carp in 2021.
In recent years, the Chinese government has implemented various ecological projects in the Qinghai Lake Basin, and achieved remarkable results in restoring the environment. In 2021, the water body of the Qinghai Lake covered an area of 4,625.6 square km. The improving ecosystem of the lake has also benefited migratory birds and Przewalski’s gazelles.
The lake has become a key wintering habitat for more and more migratory birds, with over 300,000 birds making a stop here during migration every year. As the only habitat of Przewalski’s gazelles, the areas surrounding the Qinghai Lake had seen the total number of the species increase from 257 in 2004 to over 2,800 in 2021.
A few months ago, China approved a plan to establish a national park at Qinghai Lake. “With the building of a national park, more vigorous protection measures will be adopted for the Qinghai Lake,” He said. “We all hope for the lasting beauty of the lake and more benefit for the people on the plateau.”
Source: Protection and Utilization Administration in the Qinghai Lake Scenic Area