The Keeper of Hoh Xil
Wildlife at Leisure | Remarkable Results of the Protection Station
It was May at the Qinghai-Tibet Line, the drviers on the road can easily see the tibetan antelopes migrating in groups, and the tibetan donkey, tibetan gazelle on both sides are eating grass at leisure. The road, people, wildlife, snow mountains, blue sky and white cloud are in harmony and create a beautiful nature painting.
I still remember 20 years ago, a number of Tibetan antelopes have died under the gun of poachers, and such a world class of rare species has fallen to less than 20,000.
But history has it’s own cycle, there is always an hero comes out at the key point. Sonam Dargye was a hero like that. He sacrificed himself and evoked the attention of the whole society, he spilled his own blood and called the masses to protect the epic land. And now, it has paid off. If you visit Hoh Xil now, you will see many protection station like Budongquan Protection Station, Sonam Dargye Protection Station, Wudaoliang Protection Station, Tuotuo River Protection Station and many other seasonal protection station. You can also see many signs and posts for the wildlife along the road.
At 2nd June, the secretary of Qinghai Hoh Xil Management Burea-Mr. Buqiong arranged us and filmed the migrating of tibetan antelopes at Wudaoliang Protection Station. And elder mountain patrol worker Bading Ciren drove and accompanied us. Bading has worked here for 20+ years, and he said to us: Nowadays, we no longer see any poacher, no longer hear any gun shooting. There are more and more wildlife, and the environment is getting better and better.
Hostile Climate | Wudaoliang Protection Station
The altitude of Wudaoliang is about 4700 meters, 267 kilometers away from Golmud city. It has hostile climate, windy, cold and changeable weather. At 3 pm, we have arrived at Wudaoliang, it was sunny, after dinner, it turned snowy. We brought some fresh vegetable, fruit and beef before left Golmud city, and I wanted to show Anhui Cuisine to the workers at station, but they said, it’s better to have some nuddles at plateau.
It’s was almost at the end of the migrating of antelopes. But we saw about 100 antelopes came from the trail ways. I was excited and carried my filming machine at once to meet them, but they didn’t come at last, and disappered in my sight. At the same time, it was snowing heavily with lots of wind, soon, the earth turned white. That is Wudaoliang, a place where you can meet 4 seasons in a day.
After dinner, we didn’t see any tibetan antelopes. The darkness has fallen, it was heavenly cold outside, so we stayed inside, it’s very warm. Then I showed the mountain patrol workers how to use my camera.
Mountain Patrol | Living a rough life
Mountain patrol is a very hard work, some times the cars get stuck in a swamp, and they need to pull by shoulders, they lived a very rough life. But they didn’t give up pusuring the beauty of plateau and the protecting of wildlife, as we can see from their photos, the wildlife is their best model.
And I have talked with Mr. He, he is the manager of Golmud Photography Association that we will have some exhibitions regualarly to show their daily life in Hoh Xil.
That night, I got up 3 times to see the weather, but it was snowing all the time, and there seemed no sign of stopping. So Bading Ciren suggested us to go to Sonam Dargy Protection Station, to see if there is any good weather and adjust our plans accordingly.
When we reached Sonam Dargye Station, it was snowing, too. So we stayed inside, and Bading Ciren made zanba for us. Zanba is a local food, just like Chinese steamed bread, it is mixed with sugar, cheese and carbonhydrate, good for healthy, especailly in plateau.
Sonam Dargye Station | Protect both wildlife and people
Sonam Dargye Station is the biggest and busiest station in Qinghai-Tibet line. Every day, many drivers, explorers and other people rest here and the workers there explain the wildlife and wild environment to them. It is like a big family.
Sonam Dargye is also a shelter for antelope cubs. Some left out cubs are brought here and raised until they are strong enough, then returned to nature.
What’s more, many people wants to challenge themselves, so they ride all the way from Sichuan Province to Tibet, or from Yunnan Province to Tibet, or Qinghai Province to Tibet. Sometimes these people got injured, so they stay here for resting and treating. Sonam Dargye Station and all the station along the road protects not only wildlife but also it’s people.
Beautiful Hoh Xil | Application for the list of world heritage
At 7th June, the provincial governor Mr. Wang Jianjun visited Hoh Xil national conservation park, he received report from sectary Buqiong, and present hada to Buqiong.
In 2004, Qinghai Province has launced the project and applied for world heritage. Last year at Ocotber, the world conservation union commissioned expert Carlo Osora and Zimede Ozadad visited Hoh Xil for 10 days, it was a big event. I believe, after this visit, Hoh Xil will soon enlisted. And we are all looking forward to that, it not only means that Hoh Xil is beautiful and abundant place, but also a big praise for all the workers there.
Picture credit: Mr. Buqiong, Mengke, Peter Zhao
Author: Peter Zhao(In Chinese)
Translator: Melody Li
Himalya International Mountain Film丨HIMF
With respect and awe to nature, free people's nature and challenge himself, respect and help others, awake the sense of responsibility and courage, understand the meaning of life, and care for the wildplaces.