373 pages, 91 b/w photos, 21 line illus, figs, 77 tabs, maps
Since 1985 Schaller and his Chinese and Tibetan co-workers have surveyed the flora and fauna of the Chang Tang, the vast remote Tibetan steppe that is home to a unique assemblage of large mammals, including the Tibetan antelope, gazelle, argali sheep, wild ass, wild yak, wolves, and snow leopards. Although 1997's fine Tibet's Hidden Wilderness gave a general coffee-table style introduction to what is now a 130,000 square mile reserve, this is the first detailed look at the natural history of one of the world's least known ecosystems.
The plains ungulates are the main focus of the book - especially the Tibetan antelope, or chiru, whose migrations define the ecosystem much as those of the wildebeest define the Serengeti. Schaller's descriptions of mammal numbers and distribution, behaviour, and ecology provide baseline information that may allow wildlife, grasslands, and pastoralists to continue to coexist harmoniously in this region.
Acknowledgments 1: Introduction: Travel and Research in China's Highlands 2: The Tibetan Plateau 3: Chiru (Tibetan Antelope) 4: Tibetan Argali 5: Blue Sheep 6: Tibetan Gazelle 7: Wild Yak 8: White-lipped Deer 9: Wild Bactrian Camel 10: Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass) 11: The Carnivores 12: Feeding Ecology of Ungulates 13: Phylogeny of Tibetan Steppe Bovids: Morphological and Molecular Comparisons, George Amato 14: Phylogeny of Tibetan Steppe Bovids: Behavioral Comparisons 15: Nomads, Livestock, and Wildlife: Conservation of the Chang Tang Reserve Guidelines for Conservation Action in the Chang Tang Reserve Epilogue App. A: Common and Scientific Names of Wild Mammal Species Mentioned in Text App. B: Bird and Reptile Species Observed in the Chang Tang Reserve References Author Index Subject Index
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