Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve

Country/territory: China (mainland)

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 15,230,000 ha

Site description
Sanjiangyuan means the origin of three rivers, namely the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang (Mekong) rivers. It is a very large, high-altitude nature reserve that neighbours Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. The natural habitats range from montane forest in the lower eastern part of the reserve to cold alpine grassland and desert in the higher western part of the reserve. Longbaotan National Nature Reserve includes montane wetlands comprising lakes and marshes, and is a breeding area of Grus nigricollis and used by other waterbirds during the migration seasons.

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: A total of 2,238 species of vascular plants have been identified in the area, including many with high herbal medicine values. Protected mammal species including Tibetan Antelope, Wild Yak, Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass), Snow Leopard, Leopard, Brown Bear, Marco Polo’s Sheep, Musk Deer and Giant Salamander.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 07/10/2022.