Eastern Tibet

Country/Territory China (mainland)
Area 65,000 km2
Altitude 3600 - 4600m
Priority high
Habitat loss unquantified
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

This EBA is located in the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, in eastern Tibet autonomous region and southern Qinghai province of China, and possibly extends into adjacent parts of north-west Sichuan province. Several large valleys cut into the plateau in this region, including those of the Tongtian river (the upper reaches of the Chang Jiang or Yangtze), the Lancang Jiang (the upper Mekong) and the Nu Jiang (the upper Salween). This area is inaccessible and is poorly known ornithologically; the two restricted-range species present there are known from scattered records in the vicinity of these rivers and their tributaries, where they have been recorded in scrub, forest and open areas in the subalpine zone. The boundary of the EBA has therefore been drawn only tentatively, and is based on the documented records and altitudinal ranges of the two species.

Restricted-range species

Both of the species confined to this EBA appear to be rather scarce and localized (P. Alström in litt. 1993). Their habitat requirements differ somewhat, as Emberiza koslowi occurs in scrub and adjacent open areas on the valley slopes, while Babax koslowi is found in the valley bottoms (C. R. Robson in litt. 1993). However, they appear to have generally similar distributions, although E. koslowi has not been recorded in the southern third of the EBA (south of 31°N) (see Vaurie 1972, Robson 1986, Olsson 1995).

Species IUCN Category
Tibetan Babax (Pterorhinus koslowi) NT
Tibetan Bunting (Emberiza koslowi) NT

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
CN150 Chamdo China (mainland)
CN151 Gonjo China (mainland)
CN152 Markam China (mainland)

Threat and conservation

There is some logging of forest within the EBA, which may be reducing the habitat of Babax koslowi (M. Beaman in litt. 1993), but neither this species nor Emberiza koslowi appears to be immediately threatened by loss of habitat (P. Alström in litt. 1993). A more widespread threatened species which occurs in subalpine forest and adjacent open habitats in the EBA is White Eared-pheasant Crossoptilon crossoptilon (classified as Vulnerable).

The only large protected area within the Eastern Tibet EBA appears to be Longbao (IUCN 1992d, 1993), a wetland site which is unlikely to be important for the area-s restricted-range species. However, both species were recorded in Beizha Forest Reserve, Nangqian, in 1992 (Robson 1993a).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Eastern Tibet. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/10/2022.