Dedicated rangers preserve Altun mountain for wildlife

Updated: 2016-08-16 13:31

By Wu Zheyu(

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Dedicated rangers preserve Altun mountain for wildlife

The snowy East Kunlun mountain in the Altun mountain nature reserve. [Photo provided to]

Altun mountain is in Ruoqiang county, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, and was listed as a National Nature Reserve in 1983. It"s was the first plateau ecological reserve to be established. With 267 kinds of plateau plants and 359 kinds of wild animals in this area, many experts describe it as a natural gene pool, which means great potential value for academic research and environmental protection.

At 4580 meters above sea level, and measuring 46.8 thousand square kilometers, it is also very inaccessible and has extremely cold weather, making it hard for rangers to continue their work there. Most of this area is a No Man's Land: you must bear with Hypoxia, headaches, chest pain and intense UV radiation. The most unbearable part for most people is the loneliness.

Aigne, a ranger of Altun mountain nature reserve, has been living here for 19 years. He experienced several serious accidents, especially once when heavy snow sealed the mountain passes, where dangerous animals like wolves and yaks frequent the houses on a daily basis, so he suffered for four months waiting for rescue teams to come. "When I was rescued and saw the teammate for the first time, I burst into tears. I hadn't talked to another human being for four months."

Still, the rangers love the land. "Many people may ask why you are obsessed with this area. My answer is that I love the herdsmen here and I can't bear to think about how the Tibetan antelopes would be killed. I feel the responsibility burning in me my whole life," Aigne said.

After 10 years of dedicated environmental protection, a balance has been struck between plants, animals and human beings here.

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