“Since 2004, data from surveys indicate that animal migration along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway indicate that animals usage of the passageways gradually increased from 56.6% to 100% today.” The planning department head of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway company Yang Haijiang said.
After the entire railway went into service rare animals such as the Tibetan antelope have not been affected in the regard of migration patterns.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway passes through the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve, the Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve and the Qiangtang Preservation Area amongst others. It has an average altitude of 4,000 meters. It is the main habitat area for the Tibetan antelope, a rare species in the world. Simultaneously, there are also wild yaks, Tibetan wild donkey and other rare animal species.
In order to limit the effects brought about on the habitat and ecological system of Tibetan antelope, 33 passage tunnels were installed for the animals from Golmud to Lhasa with more than 58 kilometers of tunnels.
At the same time, since 2004 the Golmud to Lhasa stretch of the railway went into the peak period and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company entrusted the Chinese Academy of Sciences Animal Institute and the Northwest Endangered Species Research Center to conduct ongoing survey for animal activities along the railroad.
Yang Haijiang stated that, “surveys done by researches regarding animal migration activity along the railway indicate that the animal usage of tunnels has gradually increased each year.”
In the Hoh Xil Natural Preservation Area and surrounding areas, the number of Tibetan antelope has increased proving that the establishment of the railway has not influenced the animals ability to find food, migrate and reproduce. Since the peak period of railway construction in 2004, 1,660 antelopes have crossed through the tunnels.
As a national key protected animals, Tibetan antelopes are mainly distributed in Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang. According to statistics, up until now, the number of the Tibetan antelopes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has returned to 200,000.