Wetlands Northern Tibet Autonomous Region Support Eco-Life Cycle

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The wetlands in Northern Tibet Autonomous Region boast the biggest ecosystem in China. It's the home of China's biggest cluster of wetlands with lakes, marshes, and rivers. But concerns are growing that the lake's water level is expanding by several feet a year. Here's more on the story.

The wetlands in the Tibet Autonomous Region comprise the largest wetland system in China—supporting the existence of the northern Tibet grasslands.

Situated on the plateau 15,000 feet above sea level, Serling Tso Lake is a tranquil relaxing environment for people with an abundance of plant and animal life. Its cobalt blue water tastes a little salty, like seawater.

Local residents say the lake is growing bigger with water levels expanding by about three feet from last year.

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Serling Tso Lake and another 20 satellite lakes make up a wetland protection zone... providing an ideal habitat and breeding ground for rare waterfowls. There are about 100 varieties of birds living there.

Tibet has more than 1,500 lakes. That's over six million acres, which is 30% of the lake area in China.

This region is the home of China's biggest cluster of wetlands with lakes, marshes, and rivers forming a tableland of flora and fauna.

[Liu Wulin, Tibet Forestry Survey and Planning Institute]:
"The wetland in Tibet is an important one not only in Tibet, but also in the entire country. This is because it not only fosters many Tibetan Antelopes, but provides a breeding place for important species, like black-necked cranes, barhead geese and sheldrakes."

Two surveys have been conducted to ascertain the actual size of the wetlands in Tibet. The first survey conducted from 1996--2000 indicated 15 million acres with 17 varieties that comprise four types of wetlands, including lake, swamp, river, and artificial wetlands.

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