Table 3. General information on pastoralism on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (Long et al. 1999, Dong et al. 2010).

Location It is located in western China, covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province in China. It is the highest and biggest plateau called "the roof of the world," with an area of 2.5 million km².
Climate It is characterized by a dry and cold alpine climate. Annual precipitation ranges from 100 mm to 300 mm, which falls mainly as hailstorms. Year-round temperatures average 0°C, dipping to −40 °C in some areas in winter.
Vegetation Vegetation cover of the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau is mostly (over 70%) alpine rangelands, including alpine meadow, alpine shrub, alpine steppe, and alpine desert.
Land use Pastoralism is the dominant way of utilizing the vast rangelands of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Agro-pastoralism exists in some areas.
Animals Grazing livestock include yak (around 13 million, over 90% of world population), Tibetan sheep (Ovis ammon), and goats (around 42 million), and wild grazing mammals including blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), wild ass (Equus hemionus), and wild yak (Bos grunniens).
Population It supports about 10 million people, among which approximately 52% are nomadic pastoralists or pastoralists of Tibetan or Tibetan-originated ethnicities.
Social problems Conflicts over the increasing population and limited resources in pastoral areas. Change of pastoral livelihoods driven by rapid economic and social development.