The Tibetan plateau covers a quarter of China – an area the size of Western Europe. This vast, windswept wilderness is one of the world's most remote places, defined by the glacier-strewn Himalayas. It's also home to some incredible wildlife such as the rare chiru, brown bears, wild yaks and the highest-living predators on Earth. There are more large creatures here than anywhere else in China.
BBC Science and Nature Documentary
Defined by over a thousand years of Buddhism, Tibet has a unique culture that has nurtured remarkable beliefs. The programme discovers why this landscape and ancient culture is the life support system for much of the planet.
Watch Documentary - Wild China - Tibet
The Tibetan Plateau is the subject of the third episode.It covers 1/4 of China's land area,but just 2.5 million people live there,the majority Tibetan Buddhists.Their religion mixes traditional Buddhism with older shamanic beliefs,& its teachings have instilled a respectful attitude to wildlife.Rare species such as black-necked cranes & Tibetan eared pheasants can benefit directly from co-existence w/ people.Meltwaters from Tibet's 35,000 glaciers form large freshwater lakes including Qinghai & Manasarovar.Nesting birds here include great crested grebes & bar-headed geese.The plateau is a high altitude desert swept by freezing winds,but is also home to China's biggest concentration of large animals.Argali sheep are shown descending hillsides to their winter grazing sites.In the Changtang,chiru are filmed congregating in the rutting season,& wild yaks are only found in the remotest areas.Predators include the elusive snow leopard & the Tibetan fox,filmed profiting from a bear's attempts to hunt pika.Life even clings on in the most extreme environments;the slopes of Everest are home to a species of jumping spider,whilst the unique hot spring snake survives at 4,500m by warming its body in thermal springs.The Saga Dawa festival takes place at sacred Mt. Kailash & draws pilgrims of many faiths.Tibet is a fragile ecosystem;its glaciers are melting,& this will have a profound effect on the future for billions of people who depend on waters flowing from the plateau