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WildLife of Ngari

Jang Thang Plain

The vast plateau of the western Tibet is known as Jangthang. "Jang" means north and "thang" means plain. Some parts of Ngari region are more green than others. This region has many different species of birds, plants and animals, which are unique and rare for this part of the world.


Tsoe, a small antelope, are one of the most endangered species in Ngari. Tibetans say, Tsoes have the nicest rules in the kingdom. They migrate from one area to the next. They know how to survive in the harshest climate in the world. According to the saying, Toes abandon no one because the leader keeps the herd together.

In last the hundred years, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, thousand and thousands of Tsoes were slaughtered to make a type of shawl known as Pashimina. This shawl business was started somewhere in Kashamire, north India. They require the finest hair of the Tsoe hide or skin. To produce a shawl they need between five to seven hides or skins. These shawls are sold all over the world.

Poachers show no mercy for these animals. To kill the animals, poachers use machine guns, mental and traditional Toes' horn traps. They even run down the Tsoes with high speed trucks. Poacher watch the herd all day long. Some people say, Toes are stupid animals. Because at night, Toes run into the head lights of trucks. Poachers kill as many Tsoes as they can, take off the skins, leave everything else behind. If poachers can kill the leader, they can around up the whole herd. Without a leader, Tsoes don't know where to run.


Kyang is Tibetan term for wild asses. They usually stay in a herd up to 80 and grass leisurely on grasses. First, when they come across a human, they immediately dash away. After galloping for a while, they stop if they see no danger. Then, they may show great curiosity about what you are doing.

Elder Tibetans say that some Kyang are the riding horses of Sadeg (the spirit landowners) and Lha (deities"). These Kyangs stay alone and they have natural markings that look like saddles on their back. According to an ancient saying, a Kyang without a long tail can be very dangerous and even cause death.

Some nomads in Tibet hunt Kyang and eat their flesh. It is a common use of Kyang hide to make saddle bags (special bags used on horses) and tail straps.

Grong is the Tibetan name for wild yak. A Grong can weigh about 1,000 kilograms and can be twice size of a domestic yak. They grow long hair of a dark brown colour. Grong are said to be so strong that they can overturn a truck with their horns. Normally shy creatures, Grong can only be seen at a distance.

Black-naked Crane

Krung-Krung Kyid-Nag is Tibetan term for Black-necked cranes. This species of crane is unique to Tibet. It is listed as an endangered species. Reports say that there are only 1,000 Black-necked-cranes surviving in the world. This crane is usually not seen in Ngari region, but some people claim to have seen them around.

Nyin (wild sheep), Na-Wa (wild goats), Chang kyi (wolves), Kyi Chang, (wild dogs) A-Mo (foxes), and \many others are found in Ngari.



Sacred sites at the Mount Kailash  |  Senge Tenzin Rinpoche  |  Ngari: western Tibet  
                                          |  Limi: northwestern Nepal  | Dolpo: eastern Nepal