Wild animals in Tibet increase in number

Recently, the herdsmen in Comai County of the Shannan City in China's Tibet have been feeling a little bit “upset”; in order to restore the grassland’s ecological environment, the state proposed a policy regarding “reducing pasturing and restoring grassland” which restricted husbandry but the Tibetan wild donkeys are not limited in any regard by the policy.

"The number of donkeys increased rapidly; they ate too much grass and the grass is going to be gone soon; but they are the animal under the 1st level national protection, all that we can do is stay anxious.” said Xia Meng, an official from the local government of Shannan City.  

In the past, mentioning wild animals, people would normally think about how they were captured and killed leading to their rapid reduction in number and fleeing to far-away places. However, due to the development of a series of policies regarding ecological protection carried out by the Chinese government, the situation has changed. Some wild animals are very active and have started to “bully” humans.

In recent years, China’s wild animals have entered the “baby boom”, a situation in which animals and human’s fight against each other for the grassland has occurred from time to time.

According to statistics given by the Bureau of Forestry of the Tibet Autonomous Region, in recent years, the wild animal resource reserve in Tibet has increased over 30% compared to what it was 20 years ago.

At the moment, just within the Nagchu area, there are already more than 10,000 wild yaks, more than 100,000 wild Tibetan antelopes and more than 80,000 wild Tibetan donkeys. Tibetan red deer, which used to be regarded as an extinct animal, was re-discovered again during the 1990s and at the moment have increased in number continuously.

The living environment has changed for the better, and some wild animals have started to be willful. The Mt. Qomolangma Snow Leopard Reserve Center recently has discovered that every year there are almost 10,000 domestic animals killed by wild animals such as snow leopards and wolves, when taking an investigation regarding troubles caused by wild animals in the four counties of Gyirong, Nyalam, Dingri and Dinggye in the Shigatse City area.  

Kelsang Tsering who grew up in the northern grassland in Tibet said that due to hardships related to finding food in nature, the brown bears usually come to the households to search for food. They will firstly eat all the food that they like such as butter, yoghurt… and then pick the good food to take away.

In order to protect the interest of the people who have troubles caused by the wild animals, different places in China have practiced various compensative methods according to different situations at the local places. Due to the troubles caused by wild animals, Tibetan farmers and herdsmen every year receive compensation varying from 6,000 to more than 20,000 RMB.

Since 2006 up until now, Tibet has been spending an amount of money numbering to more than 400 million RMB in order to compensate for the damages caused by the wild animals.

Although the wild animal species have been continuously increasing, China does not reduce the protection action. The newly revised law regarding wild animal protection will be practiced starting from January 1st 2017, which regulates the protection of wild animal habitats as well as protecting methods.

In the next step, China will modify the list of key wild animals under state protection. The purpose is to improve the protection levels towards the animals which are close to extinction or still at dangerously low protection levels as well as to adjust the protection levels regarding those species which have already recovered and increased in number.